YES BANK has fast become strong contender in the Indian banking marketplace. The bank is gearing upto face the technological challenges they face and the role of cloud.
YES BANK has fast become strong contender in the Indian banking marketplace. Mr. Amit Sethi, the bank’s Chief Information Officer [CIO], talks to moneycontrol.com on the technological challenges they face and the role of cloud.
Q: In your organization and from your industry context, what are the expectations from your users & customers?
A: “Since customer demographics and preferences are changing everyday their interactions across various channels be it online, branches, mobile etc becomes very critical for banks to create service differentiation. User experience across these channels could be a big differentiator with automated branches, personalized web pages, offer on demand etc. Customer experience becoming a service differentiator, the focus on front office & customer facing channels has become important with expectations rising across BI , risk management, real time processing, end user device servicing, channel agnostic delivery, mobility, social media, SOA based architectures, scalability and revamp of legacy infrastructure.”
Q: What are the dynamics shaping your Industry?
A: “Strategic partnerships with some of the best known IT majors globally, to develop innovative system features in order to improve process efficiencies and create sector-specific banking solutions. Additionally the development of a robust Business Continuity plan in Bank addressing risks and secures systems that are vital to business operations, latest updated software, no downtime for processes, maintenance,24X7 availability etc. YES Bank has moved technology function to a "service-oriented architecture," where solutions are procured as a service from multiple vendors. So if the bank needs a single billing or payment infrastructure, for example, it would just get that off the shelf from a vendor, without having to go through the trouble of building it in-house.
YES bank also heavily outsources its needs, and that strategy is paying off in many ways. For one, it allows it to shift management focus away from routine tasks to "business transformation" projects to drive growth. It also needs to make fewer investments in various kinds of technology infrastructure as much of that responsibility gets shifted to its vendors. It can also operate with smaller IT teams, gives flexibility and agility. We have 65-member technology team which is lean, since it is just about 1% of the bank's total work force. IT teams used to make up between 5% and 8% percent of a bank's staff in earlier days.”
Q: What are your real IT headaches? And what are your peers in the Industry confronted with?
A: - Lack of Flexi cost approach
- Good app cloud vendors for banking
- Hybrid models are still in nascent stage
- Rising infrastructure cost
- Underutilized hardware
- Maintenance and updates
- 24X7 availability
Q: Out of these IT Headaches, which are really acute and.how have you addressed them so far?
A: “YES bank has evolved to address these IT headaches with the use of cloud platforms to access technology at the pace and intensity the bank needs it. That helps it minimize up-front capital investments. It also gives the flexibility needed to tap new technologies as they become available without being tied to legacy investments. Also bank is looking at vendor agnostic solutions with no lock in arrangements and design flexibility to move from a dependent to hybrid and then to a self sufficient model.”
Q: We constantly hear about IT Operations being shaped by cloud, social, mobile & Analytics. In your operations, which of these are in order of priority for your organization and Why?
A: '“Analytics: Advanced Business intelligence and analytics are the keys to better information at lower cost. BI can enable advanced analytical abilities which will help banks in creating personalized customer experience, service differentiation and customer acquisition. “Insights 2 Engage” is YES Bank’s In-house initiative to develop a holistic single interface for managing the complete spectrum of customer engagement including Customer demography and physiographic details Products, relationships and complete cross holding with bank Channels and service analytics including transaction/channel preference
Servicing and communications history Opportunities, alerts, promotions, key insights and tasks for the customer This enables the banks executives to understand the customer better and generate cross-selling openings and deepening opportunities basis intelligent analytics, customer likes and dislikes and also action the same to closure. The platform comes with a complete workflow with assigned tasks basis the analysis which are monitored to completion. Additionally, the solution is available across the SMS request response channel for all Relationship managers of the bank so that they can leverage across any X-Sell opportunities or servicing areas while in the GO without the need to invest in SmartPhone and GPRS connections leading to a very low cost initial investment. Cloud: YES bank has always believed and adopted this technology and has been the early adopters of cloud based services in banking with the first mover implementation in payments, online account opening and remittance services. Since cloud brings flexibility in faster provisioning at a low cost. Social Media: Banks actively use social media to communicate with customers in about everything from new credit card offers to branch closures .Banks presence on social media is playing a quite critical role in understanding customer needs. With evolving social media banks can look at utilizing it as a channel for lead capture, marketing, segmentation, brand equity building etc. Mobile: Mobility has become need of the hour due to its convenience of being available anytime anywhere. It is the fastest-growing platform for banking interactions and transactions and could also be used for customer on boarding, lead capture, cross selling etc. Also since the end user device preferences are diverse and ever demanding it becomes imperative that the technology becomes agnostic and accommodative to user preferences. “
Q: How is Cloud shaping or is expected to shape your operations and your industry?
A: Cloud enablement makes new and bundled products and services easier to develop and provide, whether on a standalone basis or through partnering with vendors. Since the hardware and software are available on demand, the user has to pay only for what is utilized and need not make a huge investment upfront. So banks can use cloud computing to enter and scale up in emerging markets more quickly and at a lower cost and risk. YES bank was the first to use a ‘public cloud’ platform for routine banking services like enabling customers to open new accounts online. Also bank uses cloud services for critical banking services like payments and domestic remittances. The cloud platform brings flexibility and speed, and it is cheaper. The BANK can access the necessary technology infrastructure from cloud platforms at the pace its customer volumes grow and avoid large up-front capital investments. The bank launched its public cloud in October 2012 after seven weeks of preparation and with no initial investment, since it would incur costs on a per-transaction basis. At other banks that use conventional technology, such an effort would have consumed up to six months and nearly $200,000 in initial investments. "Private clouds" are more common among Indian banks, and YES BANK uses one for centralized administrative tasks.”