CIO75 2021 #1: Jimmy Ng, DBS Bank

  • Name Jimmy Ng
  • Title Group CIO
  • Company DBS Bank
  • Commenced role
  • Reporting Line
  • Member of the Executive Team No
  • Technology Function
  • With hundreds of finance start-ups now calling Singapore home -- nestled in the new fintech capital of the world -- the market could be forgiven for thinking a changing of the banking guard is underway.

    In theory, the liberalisation of the finance sector should threaten the existence of the more established operators. In practice -- with DBS of more than 50 years as a shining example -- the opposite is true.

    Jimmy and his team of 17,000 employees across Technology & Operations continue to set the world standard for innovation in banking -- transforming at the forefront of emerging technologies such as blockchain, public cloud and AI.

    Shaped by a customer-centric mindset -- a philosophy which flows both top-down and bottom-up -- this is a bank which proudly advocates users to ‘live more, bank less’.

    But this isn’t marketing rhetoric -- evident by three bold new developments rolled out during the past 12-24 months.

    Firstly blockchain in the form of DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx) -- a first-of-its-kind private exchange built on blockchain technology that enables Institutional and Accredited Investors to leverage a fully integrated tokenisation, trading, and custody ecosystem for digital assets.

    Since launching in December 2020, daily trading volumes increased 10-fold, serving over 400 participants. DDEx recorded close to $180 million SGD in total trading value during Q2 2021, over five times the value traded in the previous quarter.

    Secondly, public cloud in the form of Evolve -- a continuous delivery platform which enables DBS to adopt public cloud at scale, regardless of cloud service vendor -- ensuring security, compliance, and quality by design. In launching Evolve, DBS has since increased public cloud adoption by over 600 per cent.

    Thirdly, AI in the form of JOY -- a contextual servicing function that enables the introduction of relevant products and services to customers for a more intuitive, seamless banking experience. JOY has helped generate new revenue streams for DBS. In 2021, the offering drove a year-on-year 130 per cent increase in Foreign Exchange volume and a 79 per cent increase in revenue.

    Such innovation has been made possible by an unwavering commitment to internal up-skilling and training.

    Today, DBS has 10,000 engineers responsible for developing in-house technologies while the bank’s Future Tech Academy keeps the technology workforce updated with cutting-edge skills, including Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and application security.

    In 2021, 7,200 employees have been identified to be up-skilled and re-skilled in areas such as design thinking, advanced data analytics, AI/ML and agile practices. Furthermore, over 18,000 DBS employees having completed data training to date.

    Innovation at DBS is no longer the responsibility of the CIO and the CIO alone -- rather a collective and company-wide effort to ensure competition differentiation and customer success.

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