NetApp: FSI Players Should Look Toward Hybrid Multicloud

Carol Wang

Given increasing competition within the Malaysian financial services industry (FSI), FSI players will need to leverage the latest cloud technologies to provide more personalised banking and related non-banking services to stay relevant and competitive.

NetApp Malaysia Country Manager Carol Wang (pic above) said that banks and financial services players today need robust infrastructure for such services and is recommending hybrid multicloud approaches for them to unlock optimum cloud by capabilities by having ‘the best of both worlds’.

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Hybrid multiclouds comprise a mixed computing, storage, and services environment made up of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud — such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure — with orchestration among the various platforms.

“Using a combination of public clouds, on-premises computing, and private clouds in data centres inevitably results in great agility for FSI players,” said Carol, adding that the main value lies in supporting fast-moving digital business transformation initiatives.

“The rise and pervasiveness of smart digital platforms today has resulted in consumers expecting easy, instant and seamless experiences, which is why banks need to reimagine customer engagements to remain relevant and competitive in the coming years,” she further said.

In April, Bank Negara Malaysia had announced that five successful applicants for digital bank licences had been approved by the Minister of Finance Malaysia.

Following this announcement, the successful applicants will undergo a period of operational readiness that will be validated by BNM through an audit before they can commence operations. This process may take between 12 to 24 months.

“Once these digital banks commence operations, competition within the FSI is set to move to the next level,” said Carol.

“Gone are the days when banks can simply sit back and wait for their customers to walk into a branch to do business. Driven by the dominance of mobile, banks now need to be responsive in ‘real time’, always on, and adaptable to service customer queries and demands – just like most technology companies,” she added.

With a hybrid multicloud approach, FSI players can also adopt artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain to automate and improve both experience and decision making.

“Pressure to adopt these latest technologies will continue as these technologies show positive results in automation, cost savings, and fraud reduction,” said Carol.

Furthermore, through the evolved cloud, FSI players can seamlessly connect a mix of clouds and on-premises environments. It will allow them to build, deploy, and manage applications and data anywhere, giving them greater flexibility and capability to drive digital innovations. 

While NetApp has been widely known for its storage and data management solutions, the company has augmented its legacy expertise and successfully transformed into a cloud-led, data-centric software company. As Malaysia advances to the next phase of the evolved cloud, NetApp is focused on delivering a powerful yet simplified hybrid multicloud experience to help customers accelerate business breakthroughs and achieve outstanding cost efficiencies.

In recent years, the company has successfully transitioned various FSI players throughout the region to hybrid multicloud models, thereby providing both a stronghold for high-risk financial data and a possibility to scale. They include OCBC NISP Bank in Indonesia which had sought out NetApp to modernise its data centre with a new, agile, and flexible data storage infrastructure.

Solutions involved include NetApp DevOps technology, which encourages smooth, continuous communication, collaboration, integration, visibility, and transparency between application development teams and the bank’s IT operations team counterparts.

“The alignment of the two teams was instrumental in bringing the bank closer to its customer base through product and service innovations that respond speedily to customers’ needs,” said Carol.

The bank’s Head of Operations and IT Filipus H. Suwarno, meanwhile, said: “We are satisfied with NetApp data storage performance, which has enabled us to build an open and scalable IT architecture capable of delivering efficiency, availability, speed and agility with strong data-driven capabilities.”

NetApp had also established the hybrid cloud infrastructure for India’s Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of the country’s largest telecommunications conglomerate Bharti Airtel with its subscriber base of over 340 million.

To manage the huge volume of data – customer data, transactional data and call data – the company has deployed a production storage infrastructure built on NetApp all flash hardware, the A300. Backup of the data is provided by an AFF8040.

“With a robust underlying infrastructure built on NetApp, Airtel Payments Bank can support banking services now and into the future,” said Carol.

“We hope to enable FSI organizations to take full advantage of their data through the cloud to drive innovation, enhance customer experience and hone their competitive edge,” she added.