The author of this article is Ashwani Kumar, Vice President, Technology at Coforge who is a seasoned IT expert and has hands-on experience in implementing several new technologies like Machine Learning, AI, Cloud Computing at various MNCs and large corporations of the world.
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of numerous modern technologies into various aspects of business and services. The last couple of years have witnessed an unprecedented inclination towards technology out of necessity to survive. The financial, healthcare, IT sectors are the chief beneficiaries of this metamorphosis into a digital environment. Banks, who were initially reluctant to embrace cloud banking solutions in the years prior to the pandemic, are readily shifting their operations to the cloud.
To name one prominent player that was game for cloud-based banking solutions was YES Bank ever since the initial days of the introduction of the technology. A few Urban Co-operative Banks and Regional Rural Banks were early adopters of cloud technology too. Other banks needed a persuasive push which the last couple of years have given them. The need for contact-less banking, cashless transactions and remote services propelled traditional banking infrastructure to modernise its entire approach.
Cloud solutions have been widely adopted in almost every other sector and hence, the security concerns by the banks have vanished to a large extent. Still, with so many regulations, legacy systems, data protection concerns, it made the banking systems almost ancient. Modern customers are used to digital services in every sphere of their lives. Hence, the banking system dared to go partially digital with services like internet banking, mobile banking, WhatsApp banking, paperless account opening, instant loan approvals, etc. But the time for complete digital modernisation has arrived.
With a multitude of initiatives by the government to make India digital, growing sections of the population have been exposed to digital services. The younger generation anyway doesn’t know any other way of existing apart from digital. Therefore, it has become imperative for banks to upgrade their digital prowess and shift to cloud banking. The compelling perks awaiting in that space include data security of the consumers, reduction in overhead expenditure on physical architecture, secure digital payments, 24*7 connectivity with the users, faster introduction of schemes and offers into the market, varied delivery channels, better customer experience, the flexibility of incorporating modern applications to complete and better the services, etc.
As per a recent IDC (International Data Corporation) report, almost 80% of corporate banks in India are expected to adopt cloud technology by 2024. The RBI recently announcing the launch of Digital Rupee also clarifies its approval for shifting towards digital services. Cloud computing and solutions belong to a similar sphere that use enhanced tools of AI, Machine Learning, Automation, etc to enhance the efficiency of the banking sector significantly. Many evolved economies have been implementing this technology for a while now and the Indian corporate banking ecosystem could take lessons from it and prepare itself for the inevitable.
The aftermath of the pandemic has initiated a momentum towards digital transformation in every sector including banking and finance. There have been unicorns established in this field solely due to the use of technology. This provides the banks with a great opportunity to not de-board this bus to digitisation and capitalise on this event. Just like the big MNCs across the globe, the Indian banking industry stands to benefit immensely from the adoption of cloud computing and related technologies.