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DBS Bank leverages AWS’ cloud services to be more ‘fintech-like’

DBS Bank, which has been on the forefront of digital transformation, continues to lead the charge in re-architecting its technology so as to be more “fintech-like” and responsive to customer needs. The bank said it has signed an agreement with leading infrastructure provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), to leverage its cloud technology. With this, DBS will create a hybrid cloud environment optimised for rapid changes of capacity and functionality, which is complementary to the bank’s traditional use of data centres.

DBS’ early adoption of cloud among financial sector players comes amid a digital revolution that is redefining the banking industry. With the use of cloud, the bank is better able to experiment in a digital way as well as deliver new applications rapidly, while adhering to the highest standards of security.

Said DBS Head of Technology and Operations, David Gledhill: “In today’s fast-changing world, companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix are widely acknowledged as leaders in innovation. What sets them apart is their ability to constantly experiment, automatically scale and rapidly bring new features to market. They are able to do this in part by leveraging the flexibility provided by cloud technology.”

DBS’ agreement with AWS was signed after an extensive period of evaluation by DBS, as well as Proof of Concept experimentation, to explore how AWS can be leveraged to augment the bank’s existing data centres.

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DBS has worked to ensure the implementation meets the requirements of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Technology Risk Management guidelines. In addition, DBS has established additional technology standards, internal approval toll gates, and data encryption standards specific to its adoption of cloud.

“DBS’ commitment to migrate significant workloads to AWS is a reflection of their focus not only on providing the best experience for their customers, but also on being a leader in Singapore’s rapidly evolving financial services market,” said Nick Walton, Head of ASEAN, Amazon Web Services.

“We are excited that DBS has chosen AWS to support their digital transformation, so that they can take advantage of the many benefits of the AWS Cloud infrastructure, which has been architected to be the most secure, reliable, and flexible cloud computing environment in the world. AWS continues to work closely with financial institutions around the world so that they can move to the cloud with confidence.”

One of the first use cases for AWS is in DBS’ Treasury and Markets (T&M) business. The bank will leverage AWS for the purpose of pricing and valuing financial instruments for risk management as this requires extensive computing power.

AWS gives DBS the flexibility to rapidly scale the capacity of its computing grid up or down, without having to make provisions for permanent overcapacity. In the T&M case, it will allow the bank to have a quick and yet cost-effective way of handling short term surges in trading volumes such as those recently caused by Brexit.

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The bank envisages extending its usage of AWS over time and may shift up to 50% of its compute workload to cloud within a two-year period. This will result in dramatic cost savings, increased resilience and the ability to rapidly respond to customer demand.

Over the last five years, DBS has made significant investments in strategic technology initiatives to weave banking into the everyday life of its customers so that they can spend more time on people or things that they care about. This includes initiating a comprehensive re-architecture of the bank’s technology as well as catalysing a change in culture within the bank to one that is more “fintech-like” in nature.

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