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Ceturtdiena 20.09.2018 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra
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Latvian banks not in rush with offering «cloud-computing» services to companies

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Girts Berzins

Girts Berzins

Latvian banks owning extensive company management information systems will, most likely, not host these resources to their business and corporate clients as «cloud-computing» services, because the market is too small for this, Swedbank‘s Client Service Department manager Ģirts Bērziņš (Berzins) indicates in an interview to the business portal Nozare.lv.

Berzins, who in mid-March returned to the banking sector having worked for several years as Lattelecom’s chief technology director, says banks have long been offering services to their clients through the Internet – from remote data processing resources or the «cloud». He notes Internet banking services are being expanded and include more than just balance sheet and electronic payments.

Internet banks are beginning to undertake budget-building tools. In general, a cloud is not a novelty. Internet bank is already a big «cloud», Berzins says. However, he is sceptical of whether banks will be willing to host part of their large and high-performance management system to a small business.

The limiting factor is the size of the Latvian market. Creating a business management system based on Oracle or SAP cloud-computing services for a small or medium business is linked to significant fixed costs. If the service is bought by only 300 or 400 clients, it will not be enough. This often hampers interesting innovations in Latvia, because the potential audience is assessed, making a conclusion that the investment will be higher than the return, Berzins notes.

Asked why other countries companies with a broad customer base try to host part of their central information system to these clients, to reduce costs, and about possibilities of something similar in Latvia, Berzins indicates it looks like a good idea, yet from the financial point of view the situation is different. Besides, banks’ financial reports differ in other industries and small businesses.

Returning to Swedbank and the banking sector after several years, the manager, who was in charge of information technology (IT) and business needs synchronization in banks, as well as in Lattelecom, says there are no significant or dramatic changes in the banking sector’s IT systems.

Things have slightly halted. A fine adjustment and improvement of several functions has taken place. There were no revolutions, but in fact the actual revolution occurred when the modern banking system was only developing in Latvia. At first clients regarded payment cards, then Internet banks as a revolution, Berzins points out.

However, from a business point of view, Berzins believes even small changes and more simple online services can attract clients, similarly as it happens with new and slightly upgraded different devices.

Looking, for instance, at (the Tablet PC) iPad and (the latest model) iPad2, we see nuances and improvements for which people are willing to pay. I read that up to 70% of the current iPad users would buy the new model. So, even small improvements with proper «packaging» can be sold as a revolution, indicates Swedbank’s new Customer Service Department manager.


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