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Why does a bank have to be an IT company today?
30 July 2018
Отримати на e-mail {title} - FUIB

The modern world can be compared to a high-speed open-wheel car - it runs forward faster and faster every minute, becoming more dynamic and technological. The ability to adapt to these changes is not even the main key to success today, but simply a key to survival for any system – whether it is a state, a society, or a business. Technology and innovation are the basis of all these transformations.

FUIB began to develop an IT-muscle long ago, even though in the beginning it was an unconscious and fragmentary process. Since 2014, we have started rebuilding all banking processes, while increasing the pace. Over the past four years, we have implemented several complex technological projects. First of all, we are talking about the merger of two banks – FUIB and Renaissance Credit – in the shortest possible period of time, followed by a change of the business model. We started this project at the height of the crisis, after deciding not to wait out "troublesome" times, but to use the period of decline in business activity for the implementation of the project which required complex technological and management decisions. The second arch-complex project, which still has no analogues in Ukraine, was the transfer of our data center from Donetsk to Kyiv in the shortest possible time, when the hostilities in the east of the country started. During this "operation" we did not stop performing transactions, not even for one day. We only stopped for 45 minutes on the night of Saturday.

In other words, the bank entered the process of digital transformation gradually, largely under the pressure of external circumstances. The bank in its nature is a classic conservative organization with a complex hierarchy and regulated processes. The very idea of flexibility is a serious challenge to our business identity. Nevertheless, a year and a half ago we rethought our experience of recent years and made a conscious decision to build a "digital" bank. In 2016, FUIB began an active transformation of IT architecture, and also launched a number of digital projects aimed at improving the quality of service. These projects include bank's online service in Viber, digital banking for entrepreneurs, a chat-bot, Google Pay contactless payment system, etc. In addition, we started transforming large infrastructure areas — server systems, infrastructure virtualization platforms, and data processing and storage systems.

All these changes also affected corporate culture issues significantly. We realized that digital transformation is not just about a software product. This is a matter of a global restructuring of processes and relationships within the company. We started creating multi-functional product teams consisting of IT experts, marketing experts, and product experts. In order to manage such teams effectively, we began to apply Agile methodology, which was initially used by IT companies and implies flexible approach and the ability to transform processes and teams as quickly as possible. I believe that this is the main key to success in a new rapidly changing world with a low planning horizon. At the moment, we still can not call ourselves a 100% digital company. We will become such a company, when digital literacy becomes a new compulsory skill for all our employees. When all of us – not just IT experts – master technological nomenclature at least at a basic level and start thinking using these categories. We have already made significant progress on this path and are not going to rest on our laurels.

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