Hitachi's New-Age Solutions Empowering Banks

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 20, 2015


As banking moves to the digital, banks are making constant efforts to have a proper framework in place to manage the vast amount of data. IT infrastructure plays a vital role in offering control, security and governance of data.

According to a KPMG study, many banks are facing the consequences of failed IT solutions for data storage. Basically, the fault is in building ‘risk data’ repositories adjacent to the ‘strategic’ data repositories.

“Continuous infrastructure improvement is a challenge for banks. To ensure seamless integration of new government policies, we need to have an infrastructure that is scalable. As the potential of digitzation is high, we must have the capability for timely upgradation. We are in the right direction, and IT will certainly lead the way,” says Raghavendra Bhat, General Manager – IT, Karnataka Bank.

Karnataka Bank is a customer of Hitachi Data Systems, which provides data storage and infrastructure solutions, and Bhat was part of a panel discussion with Vivekanand Venugopal, Vice President and General Manager, Hitachi Data Systems, in Bengaluru recently.

“The fundamentals of IT are changing. Whether it is the adoption of ‘third platform’ technologies and striking the proper balance among the different modes of IT, or the ongoing move to providing IT as a service, there is real change taking place, all while our customers are trying to move to ITaaS,” Vivekanand Venugopal had said earlier.

“Customers are looking for ways to be more agile and flexible to gain a competitive advantage. Hitachi is delivering a new generation of software-defined technologies built to support the changing needs of customer application environments to deliver on those goals and connect what works today with what’s next,” he said.

Elaborating on different services, he said Hitachi’s aim has been to provide efficient services to customers in terms of effective data analysis, data management, integration of services.  

With changing operational and business environment, it is essential for a bank to out-innovate the competition, for which network efficiency is paramount. Hitachi’s new Analytical Banking solutions ensures integrated platform for financial accounting and risk management. They help analyze massive amounts of financial data in real time using an in-memory database and support business decision making.

Who owns the data

As data security assumes utmost importance, expectations are high on having an IT infrastructure that is aligned to the data needs of an enterprise. In financial services it is imperative to have a cohesive strategy to leverage IT and business for information management.

A study by Capgemini finds that in most financial organizations today, there is a great disparity between Business and Information Technology regarding the ownership, management and consumption of data. It states that it is always advisable to have a subject matter expert made in-charge of the data. “Coordination and collaboration of Business and IT in the information management area is a mission critical focus of an empowered Chief Data Officer,” it states.

While some institutions may have CDOs, the same role can be played by a CIO, or a chief risk officer in different BFSI organizations.

“At Karnataka Bank, the chief risk officer is solely responsible for data of the bank,” said Bhat. Karnataka Bank has reported an increase of 65.52% in its Q4 Net Profit at Rs 134.42 crore. In the corresponding period last year, the net profit was at Rs. 81.21 crore. As on March 31, the bank had 675 branches and 1,000 ATMs. The Bank has plans to open another 50 new branches and 275 new ATMs by March-2016.

While some own data, others like to be called the custodians of data. As Sumeet Arora, Vice President- IT, QuEST Global, who was also part of the panel discussion put it: “We are the custodians of data and not the owners. All the data created, generated is our property. As the custodians of data, we are subjected to stringent orders from our customers.”

In all, in a fast evolving digital world, the key to growth for any business is the ability to scale up operations in a cost-effective manner, and IT infrastructure plays a huge role in it.