Satya Nadella outlines his financial services digital transformation vision

Satya Nadella outlines his financial services digital transformation vision

Microsoft CEO discusses AI, blockchain and cybersecurity at the FinTech Ideas Festival

Toby Ingleton |

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has outlined his vision for how companies in the financial services sector can harness digital transformation to improve their processes and enable growth.

Speaking at the FinTech Ideas Festival in San Francisco, US, in an on-stage discussion with Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Nadella explained that Microsoft’s mission is grounded in empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. In financial services – an industry where transformation is very much in evidence – Nadella said that companies must not simply make digital products, but must also look to engage their customers digitally.

So which technologies will be at the heart of digital transformation in financial services? According to Nadella, artificial intelligence and the cloud will be eminent in the space, and blockchain will also play a major role. Nadella added that Microsoft is looking to demystify cognitive services around speech, text and facial recognition.

Microsoft customers within the financial services sector are harnessing developments, including chatbots, the internet of things (IoT), and high-performance computing as part of their digital transformation journey.

For example, Diebold Nixdorf is using IoT to predict ATM failures. Using the Cortana Intelligence Suite, the company has increased ATM uptime to 99% and expects to achieve 100% in the future.

Dutch insurer Univé is using Azure with chatbots for client communication, while Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International is using high-performance computing grids in Azure to scale its compute power to support its risk computations and regulatory compliance. This has helped the company save millions of dollars in servers and data centre space.

In addition, Nadella also spoke about cybersecurity, and said that creating trust requires companies to adhere to four enduring principles: security, privacy, compliance, and transparency. Microsoft has vast experience in this space, with 75% of the largest Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions having signed Microsoft Cloud terms and moved or intend to move workloads to the cloud.

“Cybersecurity is like going to the gym,” Nadella said. “You can’t get better by watching others, you’ve got to go there every day.”

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