Standard Chartered goes cloud-first with Microsoft

Microsoft and Standard Chartered have entered into a three-year strategic partnership to accelerate the bank’s digital transformation through a cloud-first strategy.

Using Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, the companies will work together on open banking and real-time payments to unlock new banking experiences for Standard Chartered customers.

Standard Chartered says it recognizes that a cloud-first strategy is critical to making banking simpler, faster and more convenient for its customers. By being digital-first, the bank says it will be able to provide its customers with seamless banking services virtually anytime, anywhere.

As part of its digital transformation, Standard Chartered will adopt a multi-cloud approach and plans to be fully cloud-based come 2025. The bank will adopt a cloud-first principle when it comes to all new software developments and all major enhancements too.

With a focus on resilient data centers and cloud services designed to meet customers’ security, privacy and compliance requirements, Standard Chartered will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform.

Standard Charter will move its trade finance systems to Microsoft Azure first, a move the company says will allow for seamless cross-border trade for the bank’s corporate and institutional clients.

Microsoft Azure’s artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics capabilities will also be used to automate banking processes and provide customers with personalized products and experiences.

"Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered’s strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients," said Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer of Standard Chartered.

"Using cloud services improves our ability to be agile and innovative, while increasing our operational efficiency and resilience. As disruption in the financial industry continues, we can focus on client benefits by deploying our solutions quicker and allowing for faster integration of new business models and partners," Gorriz continued.

Bill Borden, corporate vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft, added: "Cloud computing is an enabler for financial institutions to modernize their infrastructure and systems, to gain the agility they need to respond to competitive pressures, regulatory environments and customer demand."

As part of the partnership, Standard Chartered will also provide its 84,000 employees with access to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.