Financial Institutions and Cloud: Realising a Data-Driven Company Culture

In just the span of one year, we have seen various industries, whatever their size or age, adopt technologies to accelerate their digital transformation journey. The banking and financial industry, one of the oldest in the business landscape, was compelled to realise modernisation in keeping up with today’s digital objectives.

Geoff Soon, Managing Director, South Asia, Snowflake, in an interview with DSA, said that ASEAN companies within the financial industry are struggling with decades-old legacy technology, data silos and the lack of insights to create value from data across their business.

He mentioned that the challenges faced by today’s financial institutions range from operational and business planning and execution to numerous digital transformation challenges, as well as compliance and regulatory requirements.

“Gaining seamless and real-time visibility into customer interactions across business units is driving industry-wide customer experience initiatives. In addition, easier, faster and secure access to the necessary third-party data sources is critical to creating value from business data”, added Geoff, highlighting the need for proper data management and analysis in the industry.

To support this, FSI organisations are bringing forward investments in digital products and services. In fact, many enterprises, especially those that are still dependent on legacy systems, have already increased their use of cloud platforms. This is to help them deliver personalised customer experiences and compete with the rapidly evolving fintech firms that are gaining traction in the market.

Geoff explained that the sharing of data, both across organisations and with trusted third parties, has become more seamless as financial service firms embrace cloud platforms. Supply chain and business partners will be able to utilise this data to streamline their operations to further improve the levels of service provided to customers.

“With the help of cloud platforms, improvements in data sharing will accelerate rapidly in 2021”, Geoff added.

As for the already digitally empowered financial institutions, Geoff explained that the cloud offers an array of innovative Products-as-a-Service that can help traditional and digital banks implement business and operating models.

This includes improving revenue generation, increasing customer insights, minimising costs, delivering market-relevant products quickly and efficiently, and helping monetise enterprise data assets. By leveraging cloud-based solutions, financial organisations can use analytics to remain competitive with improved business decisions.

Realising this, Geoff said that top executives, especially the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Finance Officers (CFOs), need to promote a data-driven company culture. “From the leadership front, CTOs have the power to create the infrastructure and implement the technology and process. CFOs play a vital role in ensuring that the business has access to the right tools and advanced technologies while safeguarding compliance to financial regulatory standards”, he said.

As financial institutions leverage their existing customer data for insight, Geoff said that companies should observe a customer 360 practice. It is a process of obtaining a holistic, real-time view of customers from multiple data sources, which can unlock massive improvements in customer lifetime value.

“Organisations with legacy data frameworks and outdated architecture need to adopt innovative and flexible technologies while safeguarding consumer privacy and maintaining regulatory compliance. On the other hand, the number of businesses adopting multi-cloud environments is also growing”, added Geoff.

According to him, to conquer this multi-cloud divide, a unified data management platform should be in place to provide identical functionalities across cloud providers. With this cross-cloud capability, companies can access data wherever it is located and execute data migration without portability issues, ensuring business continuity and flexibility.

Such is what Snowflake offers, providing customers with the right resources at the right time. Geoff explained that as a data cloud provider, Snowflake gives companies the ability to share data with partners, suppliers and regulators in real-time. Snowflake also allows companies to efficiently access third-party data from external sources to help them enrich their own data.

“By utilising their data as a business asset, companies can generate new revenue streams with that data. With a network of data providers connecting with multiple consumers, businesses can access shared data for analytics and decision-making, realising a truly data-driven culture within their company”, Geoff concluded.

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