TransAct 2004 helps drive IT in financial companies
TransAct 2004, a seminar that helped drive the use of IT in financial sector
companies, was hosted by Network Magazine and Sun Microsystems in Mumbai on
March 16, 2004.
The event explored key developments and proven strategies in financial technologies,
and was attended by Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers
(CTOs), IT Managers, and technology leaders from Banking Financial Services
and Insurance (BFSI) companies.
The impact of technology on the financial sector has been so profound that traditional
modes of executing transactions are being replaced by clicks on a desktop or
a mobile device, forcing institutions even closer to the customer.
TransAct2004 provided solutions in the fields of security, risk management,
storage, asset management, core banking applications and branch banking, all
of which are transforming business transactions today.
The event featured a line-up of distinguished and experienced professionals
who spoke to the audience. They were:
- Sunil Chandiramani, Partner, Ernst & Young
- Rajesh Gosain, Consultant, Reuters India
- Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Product consultant, Infosys l Seema Ambastha, Solution
Manager-Technologies, Oracle India
- Julian Gordon, Director - Financial Services, Sun Microsystems
- Valsan Ponnachath, General Manager, Finance Industry, Sun Microsystems.
Val Souza, Editor, Express Computer, gave a welcome note to the large audience,
that was in attendance (despite an important sports event shown on national
television the same evening).
Val, who has anchored several other Indian Express Group events, including the
very successful Technology Senate 2003, at Kochi, was absolutely at ease, and
set a light mood for the evening.
The following are the highlights of the event:
- An expert overview of key industry trends
- Security threats - prevention, management and resolution
- Strategies for proficient Data Management/Data Center Management
- Applications for better Asset Management & Enhanced Per-Employee Productivity
- New paradigms in Risk Management
- Value and savings in Branch Banking and Core Banking Applications
The keynote delivered by Sunil Chandiramani, Partner, Ernst & Young set
a mood for strategic thought. He talked about how IT has transcended to be a
lifeline of BFSI business.
He said that most banks are three years behind in the technology that they use
today and what customers really want. CIOs spend around one year talking to
the Board and convincing them about a project. They take around a year to procure,
pilot, and implement a project. And spend one more year to roll out the technology
effectively to all areas of the business right till the desktop.
"So by the time the technology is ready, it's already three years old.
To avoid this CIOs should be far-sighted and take the correct decision about
a technology so that when it is finally offered, it is the current technology
that the customers really want," Chandiramani said.
He also said that businesses must use IT to get better, and the use of IT opens
a new era of risk. These risks must be clearly understood and addressed to avoid
Security in banking
Julian Gordon, Director - Financial Services, Sun Microsystems stressed on the
need for paradigm change in the way BFSI companies use IT. He said that priority
in technology investments were to be made in the areas of strategic cost management,
customer centricity, and risk management.
"Banks need to look beyond market risk into operational risk," he
said. He stated that other than the usual business-related risks (like credit
risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk, and forex risk), companies also needed
to look at operational risk. Operational risks mostly happen due to failed internal
He feels that identity management is an important aspect of reducing operational
Rajesh Gosain, Consultant, Reuters India, spoke about the importance of risk
management. He said that a silo approach to risk management will increase complexity.
And the use of Basel II guidelines leads to an enterprise-wide approach.
Seema Ambastha, Solution Manager-Technologies, Oracle India stated that managing
databases was most dreadful task that a CIO has to perform in the realm of data
She said that database administrators spend around 6 percent of their time to
install a database, 12 percent of the time to create and configure, 6 percent
of the time to load data, 55 percent of the time on ongoing systems management,
and 6 percent of the time on software maintenance.
"So they can't spend much time to actually manage the data. This calls
for a mature database product to be deployed at the enterprise. After all, managing
IT is managing business," she said.
Productivity and infrastructure
Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Product consultant, Infosys talked about the use of various
BFSI-focussed solutions that allow a company to do better business. He also
talked about Web-enabled applications and IT systems for managing productivity.
Valsan Ponnachath, General Manager, Finance Industry, Sun Microsystems spoke
about various solutions architecture that BFSI companies can use for better
business processes and workflow. He explained a branch controller solutions
architecture in detail.
Many technology managers of banks and other financial companies who had attended
the event, were in the process of building their IT infrastructures. The seminar
was especially useful for them, since it provided a number of essential guidelines
Value from the event
Here are the following information of value that the attendees carried home
- CIOs must be far-sighted and take the correct decision about a technology
so that when it is finally offered to the customer, it is the current technology
that the customers really want.
- Businesses must use IT to become better, and the use of IT opens a new
era of risk. These risks must be clearly understood and addressed to avoid
- Priority in technology investments can be made in the areas of strategic
cost management, customer centricity, and risk management.
- Banks need to look beyond market risk into operational risk.
- Identity management is an important aspect of reducing operational risk.
- A silo approach to risk management will increase complexity. The use of
Basel II guidelines leads to an enterprise-wide approach.
- A mature database product should be deployed at an enterprise. After all,
managing IT is managing business.