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Can automation solutions enable banks to accelerate their cloud journey?

Automation solutions are becoming increasingly in demand for most organizations today. Industries are not only looking at automation solutions to improve their productivity and efficiency but also to help deal with the shortage of skilled employees.

While most automated solutions are often used to automate mundane and repetitive tasks, these jobs are often not favorable by most employees. Most employees today prefer to work on high-value work and want tasks that are not mundane and repetitive.

According to a 2020 Forrester report commissioned by Red Hat, automation is fast becoming an organizational necessity. In fact, three out of five respondents reported automation as one of their firms’ top initiatives, even amid competing priorities like the adoption of cloud, containers, and security management.

Automation can be applied to almost any repeatable process in any industry today. The manufacturing industry is often regarded as the one to use automation technology the most. However, other industries are also now seeing increased usage of automation solutions.

Financial service organizations like banks are not looking to deploy automated solutions to automate repetitive and manual tasks as well as orchestrate complex workflows and improve processes. Most banks have legacy infrastructures to deal with. Not only are these infrastructures unable to scale, but most of them are also unable to support the growing data and applications in banking.  With automation, banks can be agile in deploying new applications faster with minimal human interventions.

Automation solutions in banking 

 In Southeast Asia, two major banks are leveraging the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform together with Red Hat Open Shift in their automation journey. Alliance Bank Malaysia and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Philippines are using automation to help mitigate the complexity of rapid adjustments in operational domains and environments and provide faster responses to changing business requirements.

According to Josep Garcia, vice president and general manager for growth and emerging markets, Red Hat, 2021 has demonstrated that organizations need to accelerate, rather than pause, their digital transformation efforts. A key part of this journey should be network automation, which allows users to manage policy, enforcement, and processes at the domain level.

He explained that several financial organizations in ASEAN are deploying Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to automate applications and IT infrastructure while providing a simple language to help facilitate DevOps practices. Automation allows organizations to architect intelligently with their existing infrastructure while bringing legacy IT toward a cloud-native future.

For Alliance Bank Malaysia, the bank wanted to automate manual tasks such as server configuration, patching, and hardening to free up team bandwidth away from resource-heavy tasks. Alliance Bank started with server hardening and patching and then added disaster recovery (DR) automation to protect their core systems and build readiness as their hybrid cloud environment expanded.

automated solutions

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They automated the DR process with Red Hat and created a playbook to make this process repeatable and scalable. Now, Alliance Bank’s applications resulted in better uptime when they run DR processes. The efficiency and speed offered by process automation also mean the IT team can spend more time focusing on better customer experience and continuous innovation.

“As Alliance Bank competes in a fast-moving and dynamic financial services marketplace, automation increasingly becomes an essential component of our cloud infrastructure. By expanding our automation capabilities, we can free up our resources to implement new processes and applications and to upscale,” said Ken Yong, Head, group transformation office, Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad.

Meanwhile, ADB in the Philippines was looking to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness by automating repetitive tasks. As ADB uses a hybrid environment with workloads running on-premise virtualization platforms, the bank wanted to focus on the consistency of automation of on-premises, extending to the public cloud.

“As we use both public and private clouds, we needed a solution that would allow us to provision our infrastructure like a tap – turn it on, higher, or off as needed. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform allowed us to build a secure infrastructure that’s supported by automation. Ansible also gives us a common language, documentation, and developer toolset to make the process more efficient,” said Krista Lozada, senior IT specialist (innovation & engineering), Asian Development Bank.

While both these financial institutions represent examples of early adopters for infrastructure automation technology, other financial services and businesses are also beginning to adopt automation solutions in organizations to support business growth while increasing resiliency and reliability.