DBS Bank has become the first Singapore bank to adopt cloud-based productivity technology, Office 365, in the workplace.
The deployment aims to change the way its employees work, while enabling mobility, greater efficiency and productivity.
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 FSIswill 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.”
“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,” said DBS Head of Technology and Operations David Gledhill.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. For example, customers in Singapore can log on to digibank, a mobile app, using fingerprint and check their account balance with just one swipe. 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.