The prospect of cloud computing making a big impression in the Australian financial services sector in the near future appear bleak, with regulatory concerns continuing to hold back use of the technology, according to ANZ CIO Anne Weatherston.
ANZ has tentatively embraced the cloud, inking a deal last year with specialist iTKO's Lisa to develop an end-to-end testing, validation and virtualisation suite for software development across the bank's technology division.
However, according to ZDNet, the bank's insurance technology team were recently warned by the the Australian Prudential Regulation Association (APRA) that any attempted move to put customer relationship management in the cloud would be frowned upon.
Speaking at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (Ceda) event in Sydney yesterday, Weatherston told attendees: "Cloud is great for small and [midsize] businesses, but I don't think it's completely relevant for large, complex banks at this point in time on a large scale. A lot because the industry is still evolving, but I think that it's [also] because, for the regulators, the jury is still out."
In the longer term she does see cloud becoming an important tool, arguing that "in five years time cloud will be a fact of life".
Weatherston also used the Ceda event to outline her thoughts on how changing relationships between banks and their customers will require a fundamental overhaul of IT systems, according to local tech site Delimiter.
"While at the heart of all bank systems the core transaction system is still a necessity, new systems will be required to enable 21st century service propositions, real-time data, including transactions, and high levels of service efficiency derived from end to end automation. The reality is that the cost of maintaining hard-coded, legacy applications with inflexible or non-existent process automation continues to rise, while the ability to deliver agility declines," she told the audience.
However, despite Weatherston's comments, ANZ is not, like rivals NAB and CBA, planning to replace its core systems in the near future.
Earlier this year an internal review commissioned by the bank slammed its technology systems, warning that a lack of IT investment could hit plans to become a regional superpower. Prepared by Accenture, the report on corporate centre enterprise resource planning systems highlighted operational risks, data inconsistencies and business continuity problems.