Indonesian bank CIO Johmar Gazo on his organisation's strategies

T.C. Seow

Johmar Gazo
Johmar Gazo

Commonwealth Bank of Indonesia

As one of the fastest growing foreign-owned banks in Indonesia, the Commonwealth Bank has been steadily plotting its own path against its growth strategy to becoming a leading bank within Asia. With its heritage tracing back to the parent bank in Australia—one of the biggest in the mature market down South—it has its sight fixed on Asia where it sees long-term opportunities for growth. In our interview with him recently after his being named one of Asia's top information executives in the financial services industry by IDC Financial Insights, Johmar Gazo shares his views on his organisation's strategies and what his job as the technology chief of the bank entails.

Can you tell us what are your business and ICT priorities for the next 12 to 24 months?
About three to four years ago, the Commonwealth Bank in Indonesia embarked on its growth strategy, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's focus on Asia as a next area for growth. The areas that we see as having the most potential are in SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) customers, retail banking, wealth management, and corporate banking. Our five-year IT roadmap is very much aligned to that [growth strategy].

From a technology perspective, the last two years has really been about making sure we have reliable operations, resilient and scalable systems. That was important to set our foundation and ensure that our customers can experience a reliable service. But also in terms of our IT's relationship with the broader business—shifting focus from just keeping systems operationally stable, to being able to move up the value chain to become a strategic partner that is an important part of the bank's transformation.

The next two years' IT focus is in supporting the bank's acceleration in business growth. And in doing that, maintaining our leading position in customer service, where we pride ourselves as being a leader in our focus to provide excellent customer service.

In growing our business quickly, we want to do so in a way that doesn't also expand our cost base. With this in mind, we're focused on 'industrializing' our bank processes and digitizing and automating more of our end to end processes. For example, our core banking transformation program will enhance our product manufacturing capability, making it more streamlined. We are also upgrading our distribution channels, particularly our digital channels. We want to be able to provide our customers—who are ever increasingly more tech savvy and demanding in terms of lifestyle [needs] and how they interact with the bank, wanting to interact anywhere, anytime and be able to do that through multiple channels of their choice.

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