Leading ASEAN Bank Sees Tremendous Growth Despite Pandemic Following Strategic IT Transformation

The way we do banking has changed a lot recently. In-app has taken over in-branch transactions, for reasons we know all too well. But at banks and other financial services institutions (FSIs), business priorities haven’t changed so much. FSIs still need to deliver the best possible customer experience, so they can grow the customer base and fend off challengers.

Digital transformation is the strategy FSIs are using but, according to at least one analyst’s report, 70% of all transformation projects fail.

So, how do you get digital transformation right?

Our new case study with Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) – a traditional bank that doubled its customer acquisition rates after transforming itself into a tech-first institution – delivers inspiration for any FSI looking to begin the journey to cloud.

Read the case study

Transform to adapt and grow

The reason FSIs set out to transform, despite the cost and risk, is the need to adapt to today’s market.

For UnionBank, transformation was the route to growth and solving problems like:

  • Regulatory pressures – FSIs are heavily regulated, and compliance brings risk and cost. Digitization mitigates both, but “easier” answers like public cloud can be slower to gain regulatory approval.
  • Increased competition – FinTechs and challenger banks were built around digital services. To compete, traditional banks may need to rebuild.
  • Changed customer needs – Online services are not just a convenience today, they’re a necessity for customers opening accounts.

As UnionBank CTO Henry R. Aguda puts it:

“A few years ago, if we wanted to attract more customers, we might have put up new brick-and-mortar branches and ATMs. But we realized we needed to invest in digitizing the bank, because worldwide trends show physical banking infrastructure is going away. Now we expect to double our acquisition of customers in 2021.”

“Only as fast as your infrastructure”

As you’ll see in the case study, UnionBank’s transformation strategy was to build an agile, on-demand infrastructure. On-demand means being able to scale and provision infrastructure for new projects and new customers when and where you need it instantaneously.

Mr. Aguda sums this up perfectly: “You can only be as fast as your infrastructure.”

For UnionBank, the right ‘as-a-service’ storage infrastructure was Zadara’s zStorage. It can be installed on premises, but with a 100%-OpEx financial model (no CapEx, no waste). Extra capacity is always installed and ready on day one, but you only pay for what you consume. New storage infrastructure can be spun up in moments to serve new projects and ensures always-on operations to support growing customer demands.
UnionBank considers on-demand zStorage “a transformative initiative… it changed the rules, so to speak.”
It has contributed to the bank’s transformation by:

  • Faster innovation. Teams don’t need to wait for IT, and new projects go to market faster
  • 100% availability through the pandemic. UnionBank was able to support customers with vital digital services during national lockdowns – which led to further customer growth
  • Scale more efficiently to support business growth with instant scale and provisioning of new infrastructure

Because zStorage is installed on premises, UnionBank also found that regulatory approval could be achieved much faster than with public cloud.

So, it’s not hard to see why UnionBank designed its IT transformation around agile infrastructure. If you want to grow, you need a strong platform to enable the growing demands of your business.

For the full story, click below.

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