RAMS Financial Group shuns BYO, cloud

Summary:Jeremy Whitelaw, IT head of RAMS Financial Group, has dismissed the need for cloud computing and bring-your-own (BYO) device models in his business, as he looks to overhaul the group's technology strategy.

Jeremy Whitelaw, IT head of RAMS Financial Group, has dismissed the need for cloud computing and bring-your-own (BYO) device models in his business, as he looks to overhaul the group's technology strategy.

Whitelaw is currently conducting a revamp of the IT strategy, which focuses on unifying the business and technology arms of the group.

"We're looking to move away from that siloed approach of IT over here and the rest of the business over here," he said to ZDNet Australia at the FST Summit on the Gold Coast this week.

However, Whitelaw said that BYO computing isn't on the road map for RAMS Financial Group in the near future, due to a low headcount.

RAMS Financial Group directly employs around 150 people and manages a network of franchisees totalling around 450 people.

"We haven't given [BYO] a lot of thought, to be honest. Being a fairly small organisation, our cost of refresh around personal devices is quite low. If you were talking an organisation of several thousand people, then it's probably worth thinking about, but when you've got, in essence, about 50 laptops in the organisation, a handful of iPads and the rest is a desktop environment, the cost pressure on the refresh around those devices is quite low. At this point, it's not really on our road map," Whitelaw said.

Similarly, a cloud computing deployment is also out of the picture for the group, due to commitments with other outsourcing vendors and regulatory pressures coming down from parent company RAMS.

"We don't really see a need for [cloud] at the moment. Because we have a very large and outsourced environment in any case, we don't house a lot of applications in house ... we don't see a real need or cost saving at the moment to get into a cloud environment, given that we're part of a larger banking organisation; as well, we have constraints around being able to audit the data and know exactly where it sits," he added.

Regulatory constraints, he said, would continue to strangle banks looking to pursue cloud computing, adding that it's up to the financial institutions to lead the regulator in the right policy direction.

"I think there is a lag time between regulations catching up with technology, and I think that will always be the case. I think what we need to be able to do, as technology houses, is to be able to form policies around what the regulations are that meet our requirements, as well as help steer the regulators in a direction that we think is positive to go," he said.

Watch the video to hear about RAMS' virtualised environment, and how the group is using technology to attract Gen Y customers to the mortgage market.

Luke Hopewell travelled to the Gold Coast as a guest of the FST Summit.

Topics: Cloud

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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