The move to cloud starts with a cultural shift: AWS

In partnership with AWS, the webinar was attended by more than 60 companies.

The shift to cloud-based service model from physical infrastructure and traditional service models doesn’t begin with technology but a cultural shift, Amazon Web Services (AWS) ASEAN’s Head of FSI Peter Murray said in the recently concluded 70-minute webinar.

In partnership with AWS and hosted by the Singapore Business Review, the webinar was titled “Moving Forward: How to modernise your business through cloud technology”. It kicked off at 11 a.m. SGT on 29 June, with more than 80 attendees from 60 companies all over Asia.

With digital innovation and increasing customer expectations leading to shifts in the business environment, leveraging technology is now critical for business’ success. Cloud technology is one of the fastest-growing business enablers, especially in capital markets, responding to evolving business needs and the drive for growth. Business leaders from all levels of management need to continue to seek a better understanding of the cloud to leverage new technologies and anchor their digital ambitions.

During the webinar, Murray stressed the importance of senior leadership conviction on the why, how, and where cloud technology will be used to power enterprise transformation.

“Cloud has become a board imperative. It has become a C-Level discussion across financial services enterprises and of course across digital native businesses,” he added.

He explained leadership conviction is closely followed by enabling the business and technology teams to set the aggressive top-down goals that will help guide the cross-functional teams toward realising their digital transformation.

The value of cloud

The value of cloud, especially for revenue growth and cost reduction, is phenomenal — Partner, Financial Services Consulting of KPMG Singapore, Allywn Barreto, explained during his talk.

According to him, a KPMG survey noted that those managers who leveraged emerging technologies accessible on the cloud, improved cost efficiencies through automation and enhanced data management solutions.  

Firms that invest in big data, cloud, and security saw a 53% faster growth than competitors, whilst also seeing a 33% reduction in overheads, such as operational costs and IT downtime.

Barreto explained that consumers are more hands-on with their spending and interactions with financial institutions such as banks, insurers, and asset managers.

“Consequently, in making their [consumers] decisions on how to deploy their resources, the supply side really has to think about their business models and how their business models can interact with their consumers and customers. If you’re not on that particular journey, that’s where we believe you're really running existential risks,” Barreto said.

AI and machine learning

The webinar also discussed how cloud made it possible for firms to create innovative products and solutions that cut down on time and costs. AWS shared how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is being leveraged in the financial services industry. For example, Siemen’s used TensorFlow on Amazon Sagemaker to develop a nonperforming loan model to extract critical information to accelerate investment due diligence. It effectively reduced the time to summarize documents from 12 hours down to 30 seconds.

After the presentation, they were joined by the Senior Director of Technology and Cybersecurity at Investment Company Institute Peter Salmon, who shared his expertise in a lively question-and-answer discussion.

Future-proofing your workforce

Before ending the webinar, Murray stressed the importance of hiring and retaining the best talent especially as the financial services sector continues to grow and become more diverse and, thus, more competitive. Murray shared that the customers who focus on training their employees will be the ones who can develop the strong digital foundations they will need to compete effectively.

"Here in Singapore, if you go out and look at financial career paths we see the likes of Grab and we see the rise of fintech, that didn’t exist in the financial ecosystem five years ago; but that means there is real competition for talent," Murray said, adding: "Focus on hiring the best talent, focus on working with experienced partners to drive the cultural and people transformation needed to help futureproof your workforce."

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