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Standard Bank partners with Amazon for cloud migration

South Africa’s Standard Bank Group named Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider ahead of a planned migration of its production workloads, including its customer facing platforms and strategic core banking applications to the cloud.

Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, which operates in 20 countries across Africa, will leverage AWS services, including data analytics and machine learning, to automate financial operations and enhance customer facing web and mobile applications.

The announcement comes two weeks after the bank said that it would close 91 branches, with the majority of closures taking place by June, and cut 1,200 jobs as it digitised its retail and business operations. However, Standard Bank Namibia subsequently stated that it has no plans to close down branches or reduce staff numbers.

New business initiatives

The migration to AWS will take place across all Standard’s business units including corporate investment banking, subject to approvals from local regulators. As part of the move, an AWS cloud centre of excellence will be established within the bank, with a dedicated team facilitating migration to the cloud and developing AWS training and certification programmes for employees.

Standard Bank also plans to take advantage of various ancillary AWS services, including Amazon SageMaker, to advance fraud detection and launch new business initiatives, such as machine learning-based advisor capabilities to help customers make more informed financial decisions.

The bank will collaborate with AWS in building an education and digital skills programme, to be launched across Southern Africa, to train the next generation of African cloud experts.

“For Standard Bank Group to remain a leader in African financial services, we recognize we need to adopt a cloud-first approach to our business,” said Sim Tshabalala, group CEO of Standard Bank

“AWS cloud technology will create a springboard, helping us to rapidly roll out our digitisation and data strategy to better cater to customers whose needs are constantly evolving.”

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