FNZ is growing big and growing fast. CIO Caroline Abbondanza, discusses her strategic plans to make expansion more efficient.
To find out more about FNZ and how it is reducing costs and supporting growth with Hitachi solutions, visit: https://htchivantara.is/FNZ_Story
Tell us about FNZ
“FNZ is a global fintech company, headquartered in London. We partner with major financial institutions to provide multi-channel wealth management services to their customers. We want our customers to be market leaders, and to do that we need to support them with stable, secure and scalable technology. This is especially important as we’re processing over £200 billion in assets per annum, and expect this to increase to more than £300 billion by 2019. We’ve got approximately 2.4 million end-customers, and that number’s growing all the time. To make sure our customers are still getting a fast and seamless experience, we need to ensure our technology is dynamic and scalable too.”
What challenges is this growth creating?
“When we onboard a new customer to our wealth management platform they bring a lot of data with them, and it’s important we get them up and running quickly and securely. Our previous storage management model was reactive – we purchased more storage when we predicted we’d need it, but that meant it was inefficient and costly! To keep up with rapid growth, we decided to move to a storage-as-a-service model, so we’re no longer paying for more capacity than we're actually using.”
Why did you decide to take a storage-as-a-service approach?
“It’s important that we focus on our core business of wealth management systems – we’re not experts in storage. By working with Hitachi, we can leverage their storage experience and free up our own people for more strategic projects. With additional capacity available more or less on demand, we can also onboard new customers more quickly and stay competitive. The cost saving is staggering too – the service will enable us to reduce storage costs by 50% over the next five years. In fact, we’re now looking at adding backup-as-a-service too, which could potentially save us 23% of our backup spend over five years.”
How do you select the right partners?
“When I came into this role I reviewed our vendors to ensure we had the best strategic partners for our business. It’s quite common for CIOs to end up with hundreds of suppliers to deliver the technology landscape, but I wanted to invest in a small number of strategic partnerships. I think it’s better for both parties if you have a relationship you can build on and invest in. I look for partners who have a leading edge products and the flexibility to deliver on our business objectives, not just to provide IT.”
How would you summarize your relationship with Hitachi Vantara?
“So far, I’ve been really impressed by the commercial flexibility and the consistency of the team – often it can feel like a revolving door of faces with teams constantly changing and never really getting to know your business. The team at Hitachi gives me confidence that we can build a strategic partnership together and that they’re committed to making our plans a success.