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“Bank on us!”: Understanding HSBC’s Digital Finance Journey

Shaun Gleeson, Global Head, Data and MI, HSBC in conversation with Ajay Vij, Infosys

Highlights

  • Shaun Gleeson, Global Head, Data and MI, HSBC says that an approach where one size fits all does not work with the cloud.
  • “…the hours you put in convincing the regulators, who in turn will convince the bank, it is a positive journey,” says Gleeson
  • “If you don’t (explain the benefits of cloud in business terms), they will see the word ’cloud‘ on a budget plan, and they will immediately think of it as an IT exercise,” he says.

One of the technology’s early adopters, HSBC has been on its journey to the cloud for the past few years. And the journey has brought along numerous lessons. Ask Shaun Gleeson, Global Head, Data and MI, HSBC what he has learnt over the period of time, and he will tell you that an approach where one size fits all does not work with the cloud.

From interacting with regulators across markets, to explaining the benefits internally, one has to fluidly navigate the process. For instance, he says, there are regulators that understand cloud, and the solutions, the conversation is around data security. There are others, however, who are yet figuring out how the ecosystem works. “But the hours you put in convincing the regulators, who in turn will convince the bank, it is a positive journey,” says Gleeson in a conversation with Ajay Vij, SVP and Industry Head, Financial Services, Infosys.

Internally, on the other hand, Gleeson suggests it’s essential to take the business along, and explain the benefits in the terms that the business would understand. “If you don’t, they will see the word ’cloud‘ on a budget plan, and they will immediately think of it as an IT exercise,” he says.

Gleeson, who considers technology as an essential tool today, suggests that tools like machine learning, are helpful in establishing trends and patterns, and are helpful in getting better returns, and lowering costs.

HSBC, as an organization, he says, knows what it wants to do in the cloud, it understands the benefits it will get from it. “It's just a question of the programmatics… How we move from A to B.”

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