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‘Africa could become the world’s first cloud-native continent’

By , ITWeb
Africa , South Africa , 21 Sep 2021

Standard Bank and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have expanded their strategic relationship and announced the intention to build an African Innovation Lab - an incubator and accelerator of large-scale innovation projects and new business models “that deliver exceptional client experiences and have the potential to accelerate Africa’s economic development.”

The collaboration builds on a three-year relationship that has seen the establishment of the AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence within Standard Bank, featuring a dedicated team focused on facilitating the migration to the cloud and building AWS training and certification programs to up-skill all employees.

Standard Bank selected AWS in 2019 as a preferred cloud provider to migrate production workloads, including its customer facing platforms and strategic core banking applications, to the cloud.

Standard Bank Group continues to use AWS services, including data analytics and machine learning, to automate financial operations and enhance existing applications, and develop new and more personalised banking and investment experiences.

Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala says, “Innovation is one of the key pillars supporting Standard Bank’s strategy of transforming from a traditional financial services company into a digital platform company. The ability to pilot new services and solutions in one market, and scale rapidly across others is especially relevant for a company with a footprint as broad and diverse as ours.

“The speed and scale of continuous innovation enabled by the collaboration with AWS allows us to develop new services using the latest technologies and mobile services to meet evolving client needs and deliver frictionless personalised customer experiences.”

The strategic collaboration will result in the Bank investing further in the power and scale of AWS to drive competitive differentiation, with the agility and resilience needed to quickly respond to market changes and customer needs.

The financial group cites AWS’s broad and deep portfolio of cloud technology services, and unmatched commitment to security excellence within the financial services sector as reasons why the Group chose AWS as its preferred cloud provider.

The Chief Executives and senior leaders from Standard Bank, AWS and Amazon met earlier this year in an Executive Visioning session to discuss shared areas of interest to jointly develop. One such initiative aspires to develop young Africans’ digital skills to help train Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms for African use cases that will benefit our respective customers.

“Africa could become the world’s first cloud-native continent, and for Standard Bank Group to realise its platform ambitions whilst remaining a leader in African financial services, we recognise we need to adopt a cloud-first approach to our business. The combination of AWS’s passion for invention, long-term thinking and operational excellence, combined with Standard Bank’s customer obsession and desire to constantly innovate, will allow us to build Africa’s financial services organisation of the future and to be positioned as more than a bank,” adds Tshabalala.

Frank Fallon, Vice President of Financial Services at AWS says: “Since 2019, Standard Bank Group and AWS have worked together to explore new avenues to innovate, maintain operational excellence, and deliver secure banking services to customers around the world.

When companies build on AWS, they gain access to AWS’s unparalleled experience in powering global financial institutions and the deepest and broadest suite of cloud services to accelerate growth. As one of the largest financial institutions in Africa, we are pleased to continue working with Standard Bank, and we look forward to helping the Bank innovate to meet the needs of tomorrow.”

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