DBS becomes first Singapore bank to adopt cloud-based productivity technology in the workplace

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  • Strategic initiative in line with efforts to create ‘fintech-like’ workforce well-placed to shape the future of banking

Mumbai – DBS Bank, which is at the forefront of re-imagining banking, is leading the charge in transforming its workforce for the digital age. The bank is the first Singapore bank to adopt cloud-based productivity technology, Office 365, in the workplace, enabling its employees to change the way they work, as well as make a leap forward in terms of mobility, efficiency and productivity.

DBS’ early adoption of cloud among financial sector players comes amid the digital revolution that is redefining the banking industry. With the increasing threat posed by fintechs, the bank believes it must empower its people with a set of productivity tools that enable them to be more nimble and responsive to customer needs. Singapore is DBS’ testbed for Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity tool, with the bank piloting Microsoft Office 365 among about 1,000 staff today. The bank is targeting for its entire workforce to make a shift to cloud over the course of the year, when all 22,000 employees across 18 markets will be equipped with Office 365.

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. In April, DBS also launched India’s first mobile-only bank that is branchless, paperless and signatureless. Digibank in India combines a set of groundbreaking technology from biometrics to artificial intelligence.

According to Michael Araneta, Associate Vice President for IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific, “Asia/Pacific super-regional institutions, like DBS, will set the pace. At least 80% of these FSIs will run on a hybrid cloud architecture by 2018. These large players will clear the way for their peers and will set best practices in the location, control, ownership, and management of data in the cloud.”

Said DBS Head of Technology and Operations David Gledhill, “In the last few years, we have made good headway in creating a ‘fintech-like’ workforce that is focused on making the customer experience simpler and more seamless. Inculcating a digital mindset in our people aside, it is also important to give them work tools that break down silos, enhance collaboration, foster greater efficiency and facilitate working on the go. By leading the industry in adopting cloud technologies, our people can in turn deliver more customer value.”

With Office 365, DBS is now able to empower its workforce to work collaboratively from anywhere, across PCs, tablets and smartphones. Across the organisation, meetings can now be conducted through Skype for Business, cutting down on travelling time. Enterprise social network, Yammer, provides a platform for employees to form closer communities and to collaborate across departments and locations. In addition, to encourage knowledge sharing across DBS’ network of employees, every individual will receive an increment of file storage capacity to 1TB per user on OneDrive.

Said Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore, “Microsoft is excited to partner DBS in its digital transformation as it leads the adoption of cloud technologies in the financial services industry here in Singapore. This leap will strengthen DBS’ mission to be Asia’s Safest and Asia’s Best as they build a more productive and collaborative workplace. In addition to discovering increased personal and organisational productivity, empowered employees connect and engage with customers in new ways as they gain new insights that will ultimately help the bank transform its products and services.”

Office 365 adheres to the highest security standards for cloud technology in Singapore and globally. This is an outcome of Microsoft working closely with the financial industry – on both customer and regulatory fronts – for several years, as well as its commitment to the industry. Microsoft has listened to industry leaders and regulators about their requirements, concerns and desires for cloud-based services, and learned about the industry’s needs surrounding compliance, security, privacy and control. Through these, Microsoft ensured its cloud platforms and services provide a regulatory framework that meets those needs.

In recent years, DBS has been encouraging its employees to embrace a digital mindset through greater experimentation and experiential learning. For example, at DBS hackathons, staff work with startups to create prototypes that address business challenges. In 2015, more than 2,000 employees gained exposure to digital culture, agile methodology and other digital working concepts. Beyond this, DBS employees also get to work with research and analytics experts from A*Star and the Singapore Management University to develop innovative products and services.

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