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Banking on the data centre for business transformation

Nurdianah Md Nur | Dec. 18, 2014
Maybank Singapore migrates its old data centre to a new facility to enjoy improved agility and better resiliency.

Lim Kuo Siong of Maybank Singapore
Lim Kuo Siong, Chief Information Officer, Maybank Singapore.

While innovations such as mobile payments and social media payments are making it easier for customers to transact, they are forcing banks to transform and innovate, or risk losing their customers.

Maybank is thus constantly looking for ways to deliver more efficient, innovative financial services to customers while improving the customer experience. However, to support those efforts, the financial institution had to migrate and upgrade its data centre in Singapore earlier this year.

Maybank has been outsourcing its data centre in the republic for the past decade. While the old data centre has served the bank well in the past, it was soon reaching its capacity, said Maybank Singapore's CIO Lim Kuo Siong in an interview with bankITasia. "It was timely to look for a new data centre solution that will enable the bank to scale, and be more resilient," he added.

Instead of renewing its existing facilities, Maybank decided to relocate them to NTT Communication's data centre with the help of IT service provider Dimension Data.  NTT Communication's data centre was chosen as it is a Tier 3, dedicated, purpose-built facility that passed the threat vulnerability risk assessment and catered for high-density computing.

In-sourcing woes
Among the challenges faced during the migration were the tight deadline and limited available downtime, said Lim. Even though Maybank's new data centre had to be in full operation by September 2014, migration could not be done during business peak periods, especially during public holidays. The migration process could not span for long periods of time too as downtime will affect the bank's business.   

Besides that, it was challenging to get good visibility of the IT operations and processes of the old data centre since it was managed by the outsourced partner. In-sourcing its data centre operations also meant that Maybank had to hire talents with knowledge on running and managing the new data centre, said Lim.  

Benefiting from the new data centre
With the help of Dimension Data, Maybank was not only able to migrate its old data centre, but also integrate and build new technologies into the new data centre. The new data centre is also designed to operate as a 'lights out' facility that could be managed remotely, with no on-site staff.  "The new data centre resolved the capacity and facility limitation issues, improved the foundational service-level agreement, and expanded the capacity to cater to the next 5 years of business growth," Lim commented.   

The migration process also involved simplifying the management of the data centre infrastructure, which resulted in improved agility and greater resiliency for the bank. With improved network efficiency through consolidation, Maybank is now able to better provide personalised banking services to its more than 22 million customers worldwide via various channels, and bring new products to market faster. It also ensures maximum system uptime, allowing  customers to conduct transactions at any time. 


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