In recent weeks, Microsoft has announced a flurry of cloud-centric partnerships with various firms. These include the likes of Citrix, MSCI, PepsiCo, and Mastercard. Today, the tech giant has announced a three-year collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank that will see the banking group aim to transform itself through a cloud-first strategy.
Under this partnership, Standard Chartered plans to make many of its core banking systems, such as virtual banking and banking-as-a-service, cloud-based by 2025. Initial capabilities that will be moving to the cloud include trade finance systems to allow clients to engage in cross-border trade with ease. All new software developments and additions will also be introduced under a cloud-first approach.
Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer of Standard Chartered, commented on the importance of shifting services to the cloud, detailing the company's goals in this regard :
"Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered's strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients. Cloud providers have invested massively in the reliability and automation of infrastructure and platforms. Using cloud services improves our ability to be agile and innovative, while increasing our operational efficiency and resilience. 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. To realize our digital ambitions, Standard Chartered has chosen Microsoft as a strategic partner and this partnership marks a major milestone for the bank in adopting a cloud-first approach."
As is generally the case in team-ups like these in which Microsoft is involved, Azure will be chosen as the preferred cloud platform by Standard Chartered. Additionally, Azure AI and data analytics capabilities will be utilized to co-innovate new banking experiences. Sustainability across the financial industry is also noted as a key component of this partnership. Over 84,000 of the banking firm's employees will be provided access to Microsoft 365 services under the collaboration as well.