Building a sustainable data eco-system, responsible automation, and ESG challenges – all hot topics that came up at FIMA Connect when Lorraine Waters, Solidatus’ CDO, interviewed Rakshit Kapoor, Santander UK’s newly appointed CDO.
It’s an exciting time at Santander, with the global bank embarking on a digital transformation programme; Rakshit listed his top priorities as digitising processes, improving customer experience, and strengthening relationships with the rest of Europe.
“Your relentless focus on business outcomes is really refreshing and fantastic to see”, commented Lorraine.
When discussing some of the challenges of driving data transformation, like regulatory compliance, ESG, and a large legacy estate, Rakshit’s words of wisdom were focused on transparency, reducing complexity and sustainability:
“Design and build your architecture and strategy correctly, so that compliance is embedded. Data regulation should be by design, and not a separate one-off task… We need to simplify and streamline, with a joined-up strategy between business and IT.”
Another key hurdle to overcome will be the age-old problem of cross-border data sharing, newer data privacy legislation, and managing cloud approvals. Having recently overseen a very successful programme to tackle these challenges, it will also be vital to solve these challenges at Santander, noted Rakshit – particularly now, seeing as the UK is no longer a part of the EU but the bank is headquartered in Madrid.
With Rakshit being a ‘people person’, Lorraine wondered what he is doing at Santander to instil a data driven culture.
“Encouraging diversity in the workplace and investing in training is incredibly important”, commented Rakshit. “Santander supports a huge number of universities including 85 here in the UK – and in all areas, not just big cities. It is also vital to work with and educate senior people at Santander, including talking about why machine learning and AI are important for the future, but also how to use them responsibly.”
On the subject of machine learning and AI, Lorraine was keen to hear what role these would play in Rakshit’s data transformation programme.
“AI and ML are key factors of success as they create efficiency. It is about finding the sweet spot of where to use them. This is around financial crime; security; and looking at customer relationships, customer journeys and website support. Additional opportunities can be found with legacy processes, automation and fine tuning.”
To bring a deeply insightful conversation to an end, Lorraine extended her gratitude for Rakshit’s participation and asked him what he thinks about the future.
“It is very exciting to have had the data strategy approved – now it is about executing the plan and supporting business goals both internally and with customers. I am looking forward to creating a strong and diverse team, and building partnerships with service providers, FinTechs and Universities. We won’t be achieving digital transformation alone, but leveraging the combined experience of people who have done it before.”
If you missed FIMA Connect, you can find details of what was discussed in our Roundtable: Proactive Versus Reactive Data Management, here.
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