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Industrial Bank Won the Special Financial Support of the National Cloud Computing Project 2014

In order to enforce the “Twelfth Five-year” Planning for the National Development of Strategic Emerging Industries and the Opinions on Boosting Information Consumption to Expand Domestic Demand and to improve innovation and development of China’s cloud computing, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Science and Technology decided to organize the implementation of the cloud computing project 2014 jointly. Upon the recommendation of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the “Project for Construction and Application Promotion of Financial Cloud Service Platform Targeting at Financial Institutions in the Banking System”, which was applied by Industrial Bank (IB), passed the appraisal of relevant national authorities recently. Wining the special financial support of the national cloud computing project 2014, it was included in the national cloud computing project.

According to General Manager Zheng Xinlin of Institutional Banking Department of IB, the project director, the project plans to build a cloud computing platform system with independent intellectual property within two years, which can support 300 small- and medium-sized financial institutions and meet their financial service needs including technological output, wealth management, payment and settlement, and operation support, etc., and form a complete set of special financial cloud solutions. The total project investment is about RMB 220 million.

As early as 2005, IB innovatively launched the “bank-bank platform”, the first one for inter-bank cooperation services in the banking industry, providing complete products and services for small- and medium-sized financial institutions. It is a rudiment for financial cloud services. Specifically, the service of technological management output is an important part to the service system of bank-bank platform. By the end of June 2014, 228 financial institutions have established cooperation relationship with IB regarding the construction of information system, of which 90 have put their information system into operation. At present, IB is China’s largest supplier of commercial banking system.

In confrontation with the band-new competition environment brought by internet finance, generally small- and medium-sized institutions cannot meet the needs of new business development and innovation with their current information systems. Considering their own limited scale and cost, however, most of them are unwilling to bear the high system construction cost, operation and maintenance expenses, and massive operation and management HR cost. As a result, it becomes a realistic choice for such small- and medium-sized institutions to depend on the financial cloud services. Catching this market demand and business opportunity sensitively, IB made further exploration based on its successful experience in technological output, built a cloud computing platform system with independent intellectual property, and formed financial cloud solutions covering a number of areas such as technological output, wealth management, payment and settlement, and operation support. With its active promoting application of the platform in the banking industry, the bank has accumulated a certain number of users.

With a forward-looking eye, IB realizes that the finance information construction based cloud computing can never be the simple combination of cloud computing virtualized infrastructure with conventional financial applications, and the integration must be targeted at solving the actual problems faced by the finance industry, improving the operation, management and service capacities and even profitability of financial institutions, then its real functions can brought into play. The “Project for Construction and Application Promotion of Financial Cloud Service Platform Targeting at Financial Institutions in the Banking System” applied by IB this time is to build a platform for service operation,  service management, development deployment and operation management, solve key technical issues including service measurement, application development, automatic deployment, and integration of operation and maintenance, and construct a platform with complete financial cloud products, by constructing the basic resource framework for financial cloud service platform and breaking through key cloud computing technologies including heterogeneous virtualization, distributed mass storage, and large-scale resource scheduling and management.

After completion, the platform may provide customizable and extendable multi-tenant financial services. As it is helpful to improve the utilization ratio of resources in the datacenter of the finance industry and reduce the system construction cost and operation and management loads, the platform can boost small- and medium-sized financial institutions to enhance their refined management level, accelerate their business development course and respond to the challenges brought by market-oriented interest rates and financial disintermediation. Meanwhile, it will also promote the availability of various financial products in the cities of the third and fourth tiers and rural areas in China, thus meeting the financial needs in the vast urban and rural areas.

“It will be a common financial cloud service platform” jointly built by IB and small- and medium-sized financial institutions for sharing resources and achieving win-win results”, said Zheng Xinlin. 

IT officers taking part in the project planning and designing indicated that the financial practice of cloud computing would not only further broaden the social significance of “inclusive finance”, but may also become a “model” for superior homemade hardware and software to guarantee the security of financial information and thus serve as an affirmative demonstration for the localization of finance information system as priority is given to safe and reliable homemade hardware and software in the platform construction.