UBS looks to engineer solutions with a purpose

UBS draws upon its vast tech talent pool in India to create change on a global scale.
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For a long time, banking has been the bastion of organization, efficiency, and tradition and at the heart of it all is providing advice and services to clients. But with technology disrupting every industry, banking is also undergoing an evolution. Cutting-edge digital solutions and innovative products transform the traditional focus on products to providing clients on-time, personalized, and transformative services they expect.

UBS, the world’s leading wealth manager, has already codified technology into its future strategy. It regards technology as more than an enabler. At UBS, technology is a differentiator that provides a true competitive advantage. From the appointment of Mike Dargan as Group Chief Digital and Information Officer to its drive towards agile transformation and its position as a leader in cloud adoption, UBS is clearly demonstrating that it is driving ahead and it’s using technology to do it.

Tech as a differentiator for business success

A recent trend has been the dissolution of boundaries between back-office functions and business, with an increased focus on building processes that can work front-to-back to deliver highly customized and seamless client experiences.

Many banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) organizations are adapting to product models created by prominent tech organizations and platform providers, including chaos and site reliability engineering. They are also looking at using technology to automate operations, modernize systems, and moving to the cloud.

Change is a constant in the banking industry, and UBS is setting the pace to keep up with the ever-changing environment. Agile working enables UBS to create tailor-made products more quickly, as well as deliver a data-centric, omni-channel and self-service experience that provides clients with the best possible service.

Around 10,000 UBS employees already work in agile pods (small, multi-disciplinary teams), forming a solid foundation of an agile mindset, skills, practices, and knowledge. By the end of the year, it will be more than 20,000 people working in this set-up. These pods are complemented by larger agile crews to ensure alignment and consistency, and further by agile chapters to encourage best-practice sharing.

How is UBS leveraging India’s vast pool of tech talent?

Technology spending in India is set at $105.2 billion in 2022, according to the technology research firm Gartner. As a global tech hub, India is recognized for its deep talent pool and incredible potential.

In the last five years, UBS has grown its technology presence in the country and now boasts more than 8,000 engineers in India, a sizable part of its global technology workforce. As part of a highly integrated global structure, these engineers work in a collaborative model with their peers across regions on end-to-end technology solutions for the firm through development, testing, machine learning, and more.

Recognizing that diversity breeds high performing teams, there is a diverse mix of talent including professionals returning from a career break, and new graduates all of whom are looking to bring new ideas and innovations for the firm. The team also reflects a healthy gender balance, as 30 percent engineering talent in India are women.

Empowering its engineers

UBS engineers are tasked with building solutions that enable the delivery of a personalized, relevant, on-time and seamless client experience - this is at the heart of the UBS client promise. To make development more seamless, engineers are using DevCloud, a development platform that offers a set of integrated capabilities and services and delivers the developer experience that tech teams require.

Almost 4,000 engineers from India are already using DevCloud leading to shorter development cycles and faster innovation. DevCloud also offers hands-on learning run through communities of practice for data, agile and cloud for UBS engineers.

There’s a push for continuous learning and improvement across the organization. And the global Certified and Distinguished Engineers’ Programs are a great example of enabling this. Deep specialization in engineering is vital for business success and through these programs UBS engineers can become trusted advisors to senior leadership in business and technology. They focus on some of the hardest challenges and carry out strategic assignments and act as ambassadors for engineering, inside and outside the bank. They also help build a culture of continuous learning and improvement that helps in developing deeply technical career paths that are motivating, fulfilling, and impactful.

In the last two years, 75 engineers from India have begun their journey to become certified engineers, 18 have been recognized as certified engineers, and two completed even the distinguished engineer path.

Tech for a better tomorrow

As much as UBS is leveraging technology to cater to its present customers, it is also looking to create change on a wider level. The firm is committed to increasing financial literacy in rural India and democratizing the right to education.

Their in-house gamified app Meri Dukaan 2.0, built in partnership with Pratham Foundation, allows students to increase their financial knowledge and builds an entrepreneurial mindset, through easy tasks and challenges. So far, close to 150,000 users from remote corners of the country have benefitted from the app.

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