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AIB signs up to z15-powered transformation


Irish bank AIB has signed a €65m, three-year agreement with IBM to deliver digital transformation using IBM’s z15 computer system.

Under the deal, IBM will provide AIB with a z15 system along with IBM Cloud Pak for hybrid cloud computing and Red Hat OpenShift for container orchestration using Kubernetes.

Fergal Coburn, group chief technology officer at AIB, said: “As we accelerate into the future of banking, we need the most advanced technology to underpin our ongoing digital transformation efforts. IBM technology has been the backbone of our service delivery for over 30 years and this agreement maintains our relationship in the innovation space.

“This will be a core contributor in ensuring that we achieve the key technology objectives that underpin our 2023 strategic ambitions and to meet the challenges faced in our industry.”

AIB said the IBM technology platform will also be used to improve the bank’s cyber resilience and fraud detection capabilities, ensuring its digital services remain highly performant, available and secure for its customers.

The tech portfolio provided by IBM to AIB includes data analytics and process automation tools, which IBM said complement AIB’s existing technology roadmap and business requirements. It will also enable enhanced system availability capabilities which will support the bank’s approach to operational resilience.

Deborah Threadgold, country general manager, IBM Ireland, said: “The IBM z15 is a key part of the bank’s overall hybrid cloud strategy and will enable AIB to efficiently and securely manage traditional operations and provide our highly experienced team with the tools to deliver new digital services in a very agile manner.”

Recognising the shift to online banking during the pandemic, in December 2020, AIB completed a strategic review that set out a three-year plan for digital transformation. The bank aims to cut its costs by more than 10% by 2023. The plan prioritises its digital capability to give customers faster and more efficient access to products and services.

Between 2015 and 2019, AIB invested €1.4bn in a modern, resilient and flexible digital IT architecture. In its strategic review, it said this made it well-placed to serve its customers digitally during the pandemic as cash usage fell dramatically. As part of the strategic review, the bank announced sustained investment of €300m a year to improve functionality, customer experience and security.

Graham Fagan, group director of enterprise technology & cloud engineering at AIB, said: “As financial organisations progress on their cloud journeys, they need an approach that allows various cloud-based applications to work in concert. Our hybrid cloud strategy is helping us to simplify our technological infrastructure so that we can move and manage data, services and workflows across multiple clouds and on-premise platforms.

“The IBM products and services we are acquiring allow us to further extend that hybrid cloud ambition in an innovative, agile, secure and compliant manner.”



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