How digitally empowered banking consumers are fueling the need for robust data centers

  • As technology continues to shape the financial industry, banks are embracing digital innovation and are evolving to meet digital disruption head on.
  • Customer demand for a secure, uninterrupted service is growing thanks to the convenience of integrated apps with single authentication – these disruptive technologies are putting financial organizations under huge pressure.
  • Cloud-based systems, edge computing, the internet of things and a high performance data center are critical to financial institutions with a digital strategy.
  • Banks are therefore forging partnerships. Innovative new platforms, like Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure, help deliver a reliable digital experience and at the same time improve efficiency and sustainability while reducing operating costs.

Financial consumers are putting more pressure on banks and industry organizations than ever before.

Consumers want to enjoy a 100 percent secure, uninterrupted experience with their trusted financial provider. But with the growth of digitization, mobile banking, fintech (financial technology) competitors, cyber risks and political uncertainty, how can banks and financial organizations guarantee this seamless experience? And when it seems that you are "only as strong as your weakest link," how can banks detect chinks in the digital armor?

Embracing the future of modern banking

According to fintech expert Timur Vorona, "the bank of the future will either cease to exist or it will become an IT company." That is indeed a bold idea. In order to deliver the digital customer experience customers are demanding, both the front customer-facing operations and the back office processes need to embrace IT as a core enabler of future banking. It is no coincidence that Goldman Sachs is rebranding itself as a tech company and is now the biggest "non-tech" Fortune 500 investor in technology start-ups. So if the answer lies in embracing more tech — no surprises so far — what kind of advanced tech are we talking about and how should it be applied?

Edge computing, the internet of things and, last but not least, a high performance data center could be the key. If consumers have bigger expectations, the pressure is on a firm's data center to adapt rapidly — while also maintaining sustainability and growth. While once slow to adopt cloud-based technology, financial institutions see the agility of the cloud as an opportunity to differentiate themselves with new apps and services. However, with limitations on bandwidth, latency and regulations, more institutions are supplementing the cloud with edge computing, storing and transmitting data closer in proximity to their consumers.

Data centers at the heart of a digital strategy

Ajman Bank is an award-winning bank in the United Arab Emirates with a focus on corporate social responsibility. It is a leader in seeking out the market's best products, people and technology in order to deliver what customers want, how they want it delivering real value and creating that human touch that is often lost in modern banking. Renowned for employing cutting-edge technology and outstanding global customer experience delivery, Ajman Bank began an audit of its data centers in Northern Emirates.

Maryam Al Shorafa, VP, head of corporate communication and marketing, says: "Our bank has been at the forefront of harnessing technologies to improve our clients' experiences. We wanted to enhance the bank's infrastructure, efficiency and customer services." With a review of data centers at the heart of its strategy, Ajman started working with Schneider Electric to find ways of harnessing the latest IT to improve its end-to-end financial offering.

Innovative new platforms improve performance

Schneider Electric's VP of IT Business, Ziad Youseff explains: "Our main objective was to provide an integrated, end-to-end solution via EcoStruxure, a new platform that offers customized design and cutting-edge technology. The new platform enables energy savings; sustainability; digital transformation and helps manage operational risks. For Ajman Bank, EcoStruxure provided a high-security co-location data center system with over 220 racks; improved proximity to consumer data and offered a single point of control for all the data center hardware. We implemented the region's only and biggest co-location system in record time."

Abdul Rahman Jaroudi,VP, head of information technology, is unequivocal on the partnership: "Not only did Schneider Electric bring in global expertise, the company embedded tech into the heart of our business. We wanted an advanced, high-efficiency end-to-end solution and Schneider Electric was our top choice. We are still the only bank in UAE to offer this technology and enhanced consumer experience."

Banks strategize to provide a seamless customer experience

Busan Bank, another beneficiary of Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure platform, agrees. In 2014, disparate data storage jeopardized the customer experience and put the bank's mission — to become the number one local bank in Korea — at risk. It immediately partnered with Schneider Electric to review its data center. By deploying Ecostruxure platform, hybrid cloud tech and implementing microgrids for consistent power, Busan Bank and Schneider Electric reduced internal data duplication and eradicated errors. The result? Thanks to its fully-operational data center managed by Schneider Electric, Busan Bank saved $587,000 and shortened the go-to market lead time required to support digital initiatives such as the region's first mobile banking service.

With centralized data centers, tech and power efficiencies and sustainability on a global scale, coupled with edge computing micro data center strategies at a local level, it is actually possible to create a seamless financial customer experience — which should be the true heart of any bank strategy.

"Now that the financial crisis is behind them, banks are investing in their digital infrastructure," commented Sydney Hogg, Schneider Electric's president for the banking and finance segment. "Financial service companies who want to be around for the long term understand that a robust, scalable data center and network edge infrastructure are critical to providing the highly available, always-on customer experience end users have grown to expect."

Read more related articles in this series

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

»Learn more about EcoStruxure™ Solutions for the Banking and Finance Industry

»Learn more about bold ideas and how EcoStruxure™ IT can improve the operational efficiency and reliability of your data center




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