DBS' David Gledhill discusses leadership in banking IT

T.C. Seow

In terms of cloud, there are still issues with cloud security. However, having said that, internal cloud, automated provisioning, looking at the whole development–operations cycle, looking at whole release management framework, all of those things that sort of lead you to cloud are things we're working on actively.

On mobility, we're going full board across a whole suite of mobile solutions—internal and external as well. Thinking about the future of work, what we've done is, to think about that from a design standpoint, what kind of personas we are building for. We came up with four different personas in the organization, sort of like job types, and each of those we now have a roadmap to develop the future of work.

Obviously for the customer, mobile usage has absolutely exploded. It's growing at very high, double-digit rate year on year. We see customers much more willing to transact on their mobile platforms. That brings opportunities because what we see is [customers] touching us far more frequently on those mobile devices. The fact that, on a mobile, it eliminated one degree of friction, just enables people to use it much more.

What ICT trends are you watching?
All the ones we've talked about of course, plus a couple of things. If we believe what we do, and technology is continuing to be disruptive to the whole banking experience, we would continue to look into that. Signing with IBM to use Watson technology to enable relationship managers and wealth business is a major investment in a completely new and emerging set of technology capabilities.

We're also reaching out to vendor partners and science labs looking to form alliances to start to explore how to bring some of these capabilities that currently are just in research labs, to banking. We want to go past the current productive and product offerings to look at what are the next generation offerings that are sitting in some research capability, and how we can start to explore and use those.

As an ICT leader, what are your greatest challenges? How you deal with people upwards and downwards?
Over the last few years, technology has been as what I'd describe as moving out of the shadows and has started to be the forefront of how we develop product and services for the organization rather than an afterthought. Getting that mental shift into my organization and the business organization has been one of the biggest opportunities.

Our ICT priorities are robust, nimble and 'go explore'. That's part of the messaging and positioning that we use to articulate what it is that we do and the opportunities that we bring. So getting clarity of thought around the communication plan, redefining where technology and opportunities sit as an organization with the firm, and driving the point that business are really pushing for this new era of 'go explore' have been key things that I think have really help DBS get to the point we are today.

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