Disruption is the dream of young, hungry companies and the dread of the Establishment. Businesses face it every day. Many learn to disrupt themselves in order to remain relevant in the years ahead. Cloud computing technologies are allowing them to do just that.
Nowhere is disruption more fiercely sought after than in the financial sector, which has become saturated with new contenders that have harnessed the cloud to redefine banking. Seems like everyone wants a piece of the financial services pie – even Apple, Google and Facebook announced financial ventures within the past year. As banking giants scramble and throw billions into going digital to keep market share, consumer and commercial dollars are up for grabs to the boldest, brightest innovators that can prove their worth.
Warba Bank: Upwardly Mobile Innovation
In 2010, as a reparative response to the global financial crisis, Warba Bank was established in Kuwait by Amiri Decree. As a newcomer to the highly competitive banking scene in Kuwait, Warba Bank had a lot to prove. The organization’s leadership wanted to differentiate the bank and developed an aggressive digital strategy to transform the way it served retail customers.
Wael Shawareb, the bank’s senior director of cyber security and IT governance, led the project. He says they began to look at cloud solutions in 2014 with the goal of launching the bank’s first new digital services by 2017. Through his research, he knew that the cloud was the only way to deliver the fast, automated services that would help the organization stand out. The thing was, no bank in Kuwait had adopted cloud technologies in any significant way. Warba Bank was the first, and being an early adopter comes with a unique set of challenges.
The biggest challenge was security. Since the digital services operated differently, and organized and accessed data differently, they required new security features that weren’t found in existing products.
“Even the well-known security vendors in the market hadn’t adapted yet to the DevOps model,” said Shawareb. “Most of them were still behind in the concept of agile development and integration.”