Microsoft Corp. today announced at Asian Banker Summit 2010 that Shinhan Bank has successfully tested and begun deployment of Windows 7 to its large network of branch offices in Korea to help address its data security and desktop performance needs.
Headquartered in Seoul, Shinhan Bank is one of the largest multiservice financial institutions in the Republic of Korea, with 13,000 employees and more than 1,000 branch offices throughout the country. The local branches provide customer service via 10,000 remote desktop computers. Branch employees access and maintain user accounts using proprietary, integrated Java-based applications, as well as several other Java-based and Flash-based line-of-business applications.
The bank was faced with ever-increasing security requirements, and the complicated maintenance of its client operating system was hampering IT and worker efficiency. Shinhan Bank sought to improve employees' productivity and ability to help customers, while further enhancing the security of customer data.
"The financial industry is held to high standards for safeguarding customer information against theft or loss - a responsibility that Shinhan Bank makes a primary concern," said Kim Jangon, IT General Management Department, Shinhan Bank. "In evaluating new operating systems, however, we also realized that we needed to strike the right balance between security and system performance to meet our employee productivity and customer service objectives. Windows 7 enables us to strike this balance."
To address privacy and security concerns, Shinhan Bank sought ways to encrypt data not just on the network, but also on individual desktop computers and removable storage devices at the operating system level. Although the bank was continuously exploring ways to enhance security at the operating system level, it did not want to limit the quality of service that its customers expected. Older hardware and increasingly more complicated systems management requirements were both factors negatively affecting the speed and efficiency of branch desktop computers.
The IT department, too, was seeing diminishing returns on its client computer investments and wanted an operating system that would enable it to take advantage of common CPU advancements, such as quad-core CPUs, to run at optimum performance. To properly manage its remote computers, Shinhan Bank also required an operating system that would enable enhanced systems monitoring, especially the capability to review activity for accurate and up-to-date licensing of applications installed on each individual desktop.
The IT department of Shinhan Bank analyzed the inconvenience, revenue loss and potential business risks of continuing to support an older operating system and decided to upgrade all 10,000 remote workstations, which make up the majority of the bank's corporate environment, to the beta version of Windows 7 operating system and to the Windows Internet Explorer 8 browser.
Shinhan Bank established a plan to start its migration to Windows 7 and complete a companywide deployment by October 2010, with the goal of zero transition problems. For this initial phase of the deployment, Shinhan Bank worked with Microsoft Services to perform thorough application compatibility testing, with emphasis on the Java-based terminal application. Shinhan Bank evaluated Windows 7 for proper display and usability factors, and tested various Web applications for compatibility issues with Windows Internet Explorer 8.
Windows 7: Delivering on the Promise of a High-Performance Desktop
As a result of preliminary tests, Shinhan has found new ways to tighten security, both on the company network and on individual terminals. With deployment under way, employees are more productive due to improved computer performance, customers are happier, and IT costs are going down.
As a result of deploying Windows 7, Shinhan Bank is seeing enhanced performance and application speed on its existing desktop computers - and a corresponding improvement in employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Also, through simplifying its IT infrastructure, the bank is reducing operational costs and costs normally associated with upgrading an operating system - without sacrificing security or user access.
Shinhan Bank found that Windows 7 performed extremely well on a range of desktop computers, including the standard units used at branch offices. As a result of increased performance and application response speed, the bank is confident it will significantly enhance the user experience for employees who work on remote terminals.
The IT department found that compatibility issues were minimal across its entire application portfolio, helping to avoid the costs normally associated with upgrading an operating system. The bank was able to use its existing IT infrastructure and did not need to make costly investments in new software or spend valuable resources developing new, in-house applications.
Shinhan Bank is also able to reduce costs by avoiding the compounding difficulty of managing an older operating system, including maintaining increasingly complex security requirements. Security enhancements in Windows 7, such as AppLocker,1 BitLocker2 and BitLocker To Go,2 empower the bank with easier IT management and control. With AppLocker, the bank gets an added layer of software management for its remote desktops, without the need for additional administration. For instance, the bank can review licenses for installed applications in real time and easily determine if the applications' use explicitly meets the company's licensing conditions.
In addition, by using AppLocker, the bank can specify what applications can run on any computer in its network, enabling Shinhan Bank to better protect its computers from malicious or other unauthorized applications. With BitLocker, the bank can safeguard confidential customer information and sensitive corporate data from unauthorized access in the event of a stolen or lost computer. It can further extend that encryption to removable storage devices, such as USB thumb drives, with BitLocker To Go.
"Today, a new generation of business solutions is transforming IT into a strategic asset that makes it possible for leading financial institutions such as Shinhan Bank to cut costs and focus much more on the business of serving their customers. This is now made possible without crippling customer service or constraining work-force creativity and effectiveness," said Joe Pagano, managing director of Banking and Capital Markets for the Worldwide Financial Services Industry Group at Microsoft. "New technologies such as Windows 7 are eliminating the barriers between systems and applications and automating routine tasks so IT professionals can focus on high-value work that is aligned to a bank's strategic priorities. These technologies also help banks reduce risk, improve security and drive down support costs."