Indian Banks' Chief Information Officers Forum
IN April 2015, the Fifth Conference of Chief Information Officers of Banks (CIOs/IT Heads) was held at IDRBT. A majority of the CIOs/IT Heads of Banks participated in this meeting, wherein the idea of forming a CIO Forum was discussed. The idea elicited an overwhelming support from all the delegates and the Institute initiated the process of forming a CIO Forum.
Taking it forward, the Institute convened a meeting of a Core Group consisting of CIOs from banks to work out the modalities for the formation of the CIO Forum. This Core Group, in its meeting held on June 26, 2015 at IDRBT, decided to form The Indian Banks’ CIO Forum (IBCF). Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India & Visitor, IDRBT, inaugurated The Indian Banks’ CIO Forum on October 23, 2015.
The 14th meeting of the Chief Information Officers’ Forum was held at the Institute on July 21, 2023. In his inaugural address, Prof. D. Janakiram, Director, IDRBT, focused attention on the importance of predictive financial systems, and shared insights from two books – “The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance” and “We Need to Talk about Inflation: 14 Urgent Lessons from the last 2,000 Years.”
Prof. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund, delivered the Keynote Address on the occasion, wherein he shared key ideas from his book – Money: A Zero Sum Game (co-authored with Dr. K Vaidhya Nathan, Indian School of Business). He provided examples around the economic scenario prevailing during the global financial crisis of 2008 and the recent pandemic to show that the monetary theories guiding monetary policies need a relook. He presented a new framework to address the gap between economic theories and reality. During the ensuing interaction, digitisation of lending was identified as the next big opportunity for banks.
In the next talk, Dr. Sourav Dutta, Executive Director, IDBI Bank, spoke on “Reimagining the Banking Technology Landscape: Efficient Systems for Tomorrow’s Banks”. Emphasising that future banks will be technology companies with banking licence, he said that banks should change from vendor-driven mode to vendor-assisted mode and highlighted key requirements for new age enterprise architecture in banking along with business / tech challenges in various digital spheres (including AI/ML/DL). The evolution of private data centers and core banking system also came up for discussion along with interesting point of views on “Banking beyond Banking”.
Shri Milind Nagnur, Chief Technology Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank, spoke on “Control Fabric for Banking Software”, wherein he stressed that: a) Both in-house and vendor development teams need tools and workflows with inbuilt organic controls to proactively prevent incidents; b) Automation of CI-CD pipeline also helps with security; c) Software Bill of Material – SBOM is very important for preventive security; d) banks should have proper monitoring for completeness and correctness of operational controls, apart from sharing some of the best practices within Kotak.
Thereafter, Shri. Divesh Dinakar, Chief Information Officer, Bank of Maharashtra, spoke on “Account Aggregator – Financial Data On Tip”. He highlighted the fact that most PSU Banks are presently Financial Information Providers (FIP) to the extent of a 9:1 ratio, and there is an urgent need to leverage AA (Account Aggregator) as User for better business benefits. A list of organisations offering AA services along with details of various FIPs was discussed.
Prof. V.N. Sastry & Dr. Abhishek Thakur, Faculty, IDRBT, then led discussions on UPI and Voice for Banking application. Capturing the best practices around UPI stack deployments along with emergent use cases like Unified Payment Soundbox was discussed.
Thereafter, in the Open Forum moderated by Shri V.A Prasanth, SDE, IDRBT, common issues faced by CIOs banks were discussed, including cloud migration & reverse migration challenges. 15 CIOs of various public and private sector banks participated.
The CIO Forum is fast emerging as a very focused and fruitful platform to enable the best of technology in the Indian Banking and Financial Sector. The CIO Forum is coordinated by Dr. Abhishek Kumar Thakur, Faculty, IDRBT.