By Marie Sylvestre, Bloomberg Live
Part IV of Bloomberg’s virtual roundtable series, The Future of Finance: Leveraging Digital Transformation for a Virtual World, kicked off on September 22 with an exclusive group of senior decision-makers across the financial services industry. During the discussion, Julie Chariell, Senior Analyst, Fintech and Payments for Bloomberg Intelligence, sought to garner insights into how these leaders are embracing digital transformation to update old infrastructure, extract value from data and modernize business models to thrive in a new era.
Michael Demissie – Head of Advanced Solutions, BNY Mellon
Vikram Dewan – Chief Information Officer, Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank
Amala Duggirala – CIO & EVP of Enterprise Operations & Technology, Regions Bank
Thomas Hagar – VP Banking & Financial Markets Europe, IBM
Zemfira Khisaeva – Head of Technology & Enterprise Strategy, Scotiabank
Alex Lintner – Group President for Consumer Information Services, Experian
Sathish Muthukrishnan – Chief Information, Data & Digital Officer, Ally Financial
Jimmy Ng – Group CIO & Head of Group Technology & Operations, DBS Bank
Julie Chariell Senior Analyst, Fintech and Payments, Bloomberg Intelligence
You can view the full discussion here.
Julie Chariell, Senior Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence, asked roundtable participants about the measures they were taking to ensure their organizations were capturing the expected value of new technologies.
Sathish Muthukrishnan, Chief Information, Data & Digital Officer, Ally Financial, addressed the importance of adapting to a new process, building a platform that was “adaptable across multiple use cases, personas and business.” He added, “Once you have launched a product, start measuring the adoption and scale of it and see how it is adding to the bottom line of the P&L.”
Thomas Hagar, VP Banking & Financial Markets Europe, IBM (IBM sponsored Bloomberg’s virtual event), agreed and highlighted what he sees in the industry. “You have a great KPI, and I see people forget them because they get so enamored with the technology and forget about why we are doing this.”
When asked about “managing this crazy pace and change of regions,” Amala Duggirala, CIO & EVP of Enterprise Operations & Technology, Regions Bank, discussed the prioritization framework that was instituted by her organization and served as a road map to help ensure that they continue to meet the needs of their customers. As the business team weighed in on this framework, they deliberated about whether they were compromising their customer needs, revenue or production. The outcome of this deliberation was that they placed the greatest value on prioritizing the needs of their customers.
Zemfira Khisaeva, Head of Technology & Enterprise Strategy, Scotiabank, followed with her own observations on how the organization managed to keep the same momentum when they pivoted to working remotely. She noticed the leadership team taking the initiative of prioritizing more while also making a point of ”becoming more human” and being more present. From her perspective, such efforts encourage “people to go above and beyond what they do in the normal circumstances and then continue working more.”
When Chariell advanced the dialogue to discuss data, she asked about the regulatory hurdles that banking services would face. Jimmy Ng, Group CIO & Head of Group Technology & Operations, DBS Bank, said, “We were working very closely with the regulators and trying to work out ways and means of actually helping to continue to support the banking services. And the other aspect of it is on the relief measures that a lot of the regulators and the government were trying to roll out. It’s all done to deregulate. And we had a lot of discussion with the regulators on what we could do and how we can support the industry …”
Michael Demissie, Head of Advanced Solutions, BNY Mellon, said, “Having a significant portion of the world’s investable assets, the regulatory expectations are something that we truly understand and it’s something that we know where it’s coming from, areas that we’re watching ahead as assets are becoming more and more digital.”
Chariell asked the panelists for their thoughts about continuing to invest in projects and efforts when parent companies want to cut costs. Vikram Dewan, Chief Information Officer, Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank, said, “I think the case has never been stronger … .” He elaborated, “a lot of the investments that were done in the past never surfaced to be as beneficial. Now, we are lucky enough to have made those investments to be able to get through this crisis.
And I don’t think that any of the naysayers are naysayers any longer when it comes to investments in technology.”
When the conversation shifted focus to determining whether it would be better to take on digital transformation than to start a greenfield project, Dewan underscored that: “We don’t have the luxury of starting greenfield. The current infrastructure is paying the bills.”
Alex Lintner, Group President for Consumer Information Services, Experian, followed up with his thoughts that adopting “greenfield and starting over new is not possible without affecting the day-to-day business.”
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