StanChart goes cloud-first with Microsoft

Standard Chartered Bank and Microsoft entered into a three-year strategic partnership to accelerate the bank’s digital transformation through a cloud-first strategy.

Leveraging Azure as a preferred cloud platform, the two companies will co-innovate in open banking and real-time payments.

Standard Chartered will adopt a multicloud approach, where significant applications, including its core banking and trading systems and new digital ventures such as virtual banking and banking as-a-service, will be cloud-based by 2025, subject to regulatory approvals.

Also, the bank will adopt a cloud-first principle for all new software developments and major enhancements.

“As disruption in the financial industry continues, we can focus on client benefits by deploying our solutions quicker and allowing for faster integration of new business models and partners,” said Michael Gorriz, group CIO of Standard Chartered.

Bhupendra Warathe, CTO of cloud transformation at Standard Chartered, said the speed and scale of continuous innovation offered by Azure allows them to innovate with the latest artificial intelligence services to meet evolving client needs.

“We can pilot new apps in one market and scale them rapidly across others,” the CTO said. “This is especially important for a bank with a footprint as broad and diverse as ours.”

Standard Chartered will adopt Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform to meet the bank’s need for resilient data centres and cloud services and addressing customers’ security, privacy and compliance requirements across the bank’s global footprint.

The first set of capabilities to move to Microsoft Azure will be Standard Chartered’s trade finance systems, allowing for seamless cross-border trade for the bank’s corporate and institutional clients.

Further, the partnership will advance the bank’s digital workplace transformation with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams providing modern productivity and collaboration tools to Standard Chartered’s 84,000 employees across its 60 markets.

Standard Chartered will also use Microsoft Azure AI and data analytics capabilities to enhance and automate banking processes as well as deliver hyper personalisation of its client products and experiences. Co-innovation in open banking application programming interface (API) and Internet-of-Things-based, real-time payments will also help make new banking experiences available to clients.