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A brave new World?

As dawn broke on the second day of Sibos, delegates across Hong Kong woke up confused. Was Hong Kong being battered by a force 8 typhoon, or not? Conflicting emails and stories flew around the city – was it safe to go out? Were the clouds moving off?

Those that braved the weather and made it to the start of the day’s sessions were in for a treat. For me, the highlight was the Innotribe session entitled: “Face to Face: The Economics of the Cloud”. Cloud is, of course, the hot topic of the moment – even the weather has joined in the fun.

But why the hype around cloud computing? It’s a question I found myself asking throughout the day. Is it really a new concept, is it? SWIFT has been running a private cloud for 30 years, haven’t they? And at SunGard, for instance, we’ve been hosting mission-critical applications for our customers for some time.

So where’s the innovation? What’s “new”? Where is the excitement? And what’s the impact on the bank of the future? The guys at SWIFT offered an answer…

Earlier today, I caught up with Matteo Rizzi and Kosta Peric, from SWIFT’s Innovation team. They identified some key issues that are leading us towards the cloud. These are trends such as cost reduction, operational efficiency, outsourcing, core competency focus and customer centricity. For this last issue, they are seeing that customers are increasingly demanding an ability to build their own service offerings.

So this is the root of the hype – we need cloud computing capabilities like never before. And with it, technological and process innovation. This is part of the premise behind SWIFT’s Innovation team.

Matteo explained that Innotribe’s philosophy is to act as an incubator of ideas from the financial services industry. Ideas that SWIFT members would fund, with SWIFT vendor partners providing a sounding board and technology advice and services. Together, a collective brain can develop the innovative new solutions, services and processes that the cloud can help to bring to reality. It’s an exciting proposition.

So what will the future look like? Matteo wisely suggested that anyone looking for that answer should come to a session tomorrow at 1pm – catchily titled “The Future of Banking”. I’ll see you there!



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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