Across all its businesses, Societe Generale is using digital technologies to transform the banking relationship with its clients. Our Global Banking and Investor Solutions business, which serves institutional clients, large corporates and private banking clients, has also placed digital and innovation at the centre of its strategy.
Objectives: delivering more value-added for clients and increasing our agility in a fast-changing environment.
Head of Global Banking and Investor Solutions
The speed of the digital transition reflects the ever-increasing interconnection between individuals and systems that is affecting all the Bank’s activities. We need to redesign the interfaces we use to interact with our clients and reinvent the way we create services, while at the same time ensuring data security and confidentiality.
The Digital Office: coordinating our digitisation initiatives
Since April 2016, the Digital Office has been in charge of coordinating our digitisation initiatives. Its main tasks are coordinating innovation within the division, rolling out the digital strategy and managing the digital transformation projects of each of the Bank’s businesses. It also helps to promote digital experts within the Bank and to manage the change necessary to spark innovative ideas and invent the bank of tomorrow. The Digital Office makes it easier for us to simplify our architecture and tools, particularly by providing all internal and external users of the customised web services with a single access point, optimised interfaces and interconnected applications.
The digital creativity ecosystem represents an opportunity for the Bank to take inspiration from its agility, monitor developments in technology and improve the user experience, etc.
In 2015, Société Générale acquired a stake in a start-up called Symphony, which produces secure messaging software, with the aim of becoming a stakeholder in what should become a market standard.
In February 2016, in London, Société Générale took part in Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab – which it has partnered with since 2015 – together with five investment banking start-ups.
Lastly, on 21 June, Société Générale announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with six other financial institutions in France to explore the development of a post-trade blockchain infrastructure for SMEs in Europe.
LEVERAGING THE CLOUD, CONTINUOUS DELIVERY AND OUR COMPETENCIES
The cycle of new technologies currently sweeping the financial services sector requires all IT systems to be upgraded so that they can become more open, agile and efficient. As a result, Société Générale has embarked on three major IT transformations since 2011:
1. the transformation of our infrastructure via the cloud, which has become the new standard. The public cloud is now part of the Group’s cloud strategy. Some convincing POCs have been carried out.
2. the transformation of our operating model by applying the Agile and Continuous Delivery methods to reduce time-to-market and continuously improve value for clients. Today, 60-70% of our developments are done in agile mode. At the end of 2016, 50% of our applications will be in Continuous Delivery.
3. the digital transformation of our IT systems to open up our platforms and test new ideas quickly.
Head of IT, Global Banking and Investor Solutions
The cloud, continuous delivery and digital transformation are the focus of our IT transformation. Our key aim is to deliver value and offer the best user experience to our clients through open and efficient IT systems.
Talented staff will be key to leading our transformation and building the bank of tomorrow. Global Banking and Investor Solutions is recruiting 250 engineers every year, of which 50% will be junior staff. It has put in place a framework designed to develop competencies with training, mentoring and expertise-sharing programmes. The Bank also takes part in high-profile events and conferences such as “France’s Best Developer”. Lastly, to facilitate the adoption of more collaborative and innovative working methods, from autumn 2016 around one-third of our IT staff will move to our new 1,000 m2 building, Les Dunes, in Val de Fontenay, where they will work on internal and external start-ups.
Societe Generale communicates by means of regular meetings with journalists and influencers on a variety of digital issues affecting the banking sector. Already a leader in innovation and digital services, the Group has made technology and innovation a priority for its 2014-2016 strategic plan and is accelerating its digital transformation to serve its clients.
In the digital era, the biggest innovations in the services sector come from companies that have set up open platforms to leverage the power of the masses. To innovate, a company needs to open up and create ecosystems that involve its stakeholders such as customers, start-ups and universities, as well as staff. This is what is known as open innovation.