Technology and Ecosystems: What next for ANZ’s regulated industries in the race to transform?

Author: Jason Price, Vice President, Technology, IBM Australia & New Zealand

Just over three months into my new role leading our Technology Sales organisation in Australia and New Zealand, and spending a lot of time listening and learning from colleagues, clients and partners, I’ve been struck by what an important juncture we are at in terms of digital transformation.

Speed and agility have never been more important as organisations look to deliver a differentiated and innovative customer experience in partnership with their wider ecosystems, with leaders seeking to increase productivity and realise efficiencies, and move to a new hybrid way of post-pandemic working. 

The 2021 IBM Institute of Business study revealed that 59% of executives accelerated their digital transformation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yet with the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 (the Act) now expanded to cover 11 industries including financial services, healthcare and energy, ensuring regulatory compliance by putting an established security framework in place takes time. The need for speed and the need to minimise risk don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Against this backdrop, making the right choices in terms of technology and ecosystem is so important. I feel a huge sense of responsibility to ensure my great team of IBMers and our partners are helping organisations make choices that will accelerate their transformation while meeting important data protection needs.

So, I thought I would take to my keyboard to drive some discussion around the role of technology innovation and an ecosystem approach in driving success at pace for regulated industries. 

Given Australia’s banks had input into the development of the Act with respect to data capture, transparency, privacy and security via the Australian Banking Association, let me start with financial services.

The opportunity increasing cloud adoption across ANZ’s financial services industry is significant as the industry look to de-risk their supply chain across third- and fourth-party platforms and adopt an open hybrid cloud approach. Yet, less than 10% of mission critical data and workloads have moved to the cloud today and, in the context of the Act, concerns about data security, privacy and control in the cloud are a key barriers to adoption. 

The focus on maintaining a robust controls posture that provides both operational and technical assurance are essential to ensuring data protection and security. This makes it easier for financial services players to build new business applications on the cloud without jeopardising controls or risking non-compliance.  In addition, a cloud which has real time controls and security features built into its very core and ‘code’ removes a significant hurdle for financial institutions to move the cloud.  

With our recent announcement – IBM Cloud for Financial Services – we are minimising risk for financial institutions, their partners and fintech’s, and allowing them to innovate quickly with built-in controls that are adhered to by the entire ecosystem. For example, IBM Cloud for Financial Services uses fourth-generation confidential computing capabilities and ‘Keep Your Own Key’ encryption delivered via IBM Hyper Protect Services and underpinned by the highest level of security certification commercially available. This gives organisation’s technology-backed control of their own encryption keys so they are the only ones who can control access to their data.

This is a significant milestone on our journey to de-risk the financial services sector including helping them to meet the requirements of the Critical Infrastructure Act. It also has significant implications for other regulated industries struggling with ensuring that are protecting data while innovating at speed on the post pandemic road ahead. 

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