Daniele Tonella, Group CIO and CEO of UniCredit Services, tells us about the importance of a strong IT infrastructure and how IT has supported the bank successfully navigate the crisis
Digitalisation and IT have been widely discussed during the Covid-19 crisis. How has this changed how we do things at the bank?
The health emergency has shown us how important it is to have a reliable and well-functioning IT infrastructure. During the pandemic, we have faced unprecedented challenges and we all have had to quickly adapt to new ways of working. Our IT setup has been crucial to ensure we have been able to always keep supporting our customers in the most effective way.
I am proud that, despite the challenges, we helped more than 60,000 colleagues to work safely from home during the pinnacle of the crisis. This was possible because we had already made investments in digitalisation, so we were one step ahead and ready to scale up this process. This means we had the foundation for the transition, but its success is mainly thanks to our colleagues’ extraordinary efforts: thank you again!
“New ways of working” is another buzzword these days. What does this mean for you?
The first thing we did was to migrate our workstations to the Windows 10 operating system. This provides a more agile and flexible interface, which is better suited for the new ways of working.
Further, we are accelerating the New Digital Workplace as well as improving colleagues’ user experience, by simplifying the way we work and striving to offer a seamless collaboration process.
We will continue to work hard to improve and strengthen our setup and to make it easier and faster for everyone in the Group to communicate and work together.
We have heard a lot about communication and collaboration tools. What is UniCredit doing in this area?
We do a lot! All our actions aim to make work easier and to free up time so that it can be spent on more important tasks. For example, the New Digital Workplace aims to engage colleagues in a better way, improve productivity and enable further cooperation among us. Another example is “Outlook E-mail on Cloud” which will increase the size of our mailboxes and remove the need to manually archive messages.
I’m sure that many colleagues will be happy to know that the Microsoft Teams platform will soon become a part of our working life! This is an important change, as it requires us to shift from an “on-premises” solution to a public Cloud. We have prepared for it extensively, working on engineering, data protection and compliance alignment. Not an easy task, but we did it!
Do these changes entail any risks?
Cybersecurity and data protection are more important than ever. One of our top priorities at Group level is to ensure that our corporate and customers’ data are protected. We do not compromise on safety.
What about UniCredit’s overall IT transformation journey?
UniCredit has already taken many steps forward in our transition towards digital and remote banking. All our transformation initiatives are fully on track. We are also accelerating some projects such as automating our Software Development processes, to ensure a more agile working environment, crucial for our digital transformation.