How Fujitsu’s Digital Sandbox Accelerator is helping inject sustainability into the financial services sector
Written by Franco Severini on 08/12/2021
The climate crisis demands rapid transformation through innovation, a difficult task for most banks to achieve. But Fujitsu’s Digital Sandbox Accelerator is providing these institutions with a path to rapid innovation that circumvents their usual internal latency.
As concern continues to build around the state of climate change and the impact of corporations’ activities, more and more leaders are feeling the pressure to step up their organisation’s sustainability efforts.
Fortunately, it seems more businesses are heeding the call to act on that responsibility. For instance, at this year’s COP26 summit, more than half of the UK’s largest businesses pledged to achieve net zero by 2050, with many even going as far to commit to the earlier deadline of 2030.
While this is an optimistic outlook for the future, especially as the number of businesses joining the UN’s net zero pledge has quadrupled since last year, it doesn’t mean the challenge of eliminating or offsetting emissions is any less great.
For large, established businesses, the task of becoming carbon neutral will be inextricably linked to their capacity to manage organisation-wide innovation at pace, in conjunction with a strong partner and fintech ecosystem.
That means constant experimentation – which not only takes up valuable time and resources, but often entails jumping through numerous governance and compliance hoops every step of the way.
For most banks, their ability to innovate at pace is often hampered by the sector’s risk averse nature. But the need to drive innovation in an agile and rapid manner is integral to the success of any internal sustainability initiative.
At Fujitsu, we’ve worked to address this exact dilemma. Our solution proactively showcases our ability to enable diverse and complex ecosystems by allowing us to demonstrate how new solutions would work in a personalised and interactive fashion.
Banks’ carbon problem
Financial Institutions haven’t traditionally been perceived as big carbon offenders. But in recent years, the activities of these organisations have attracted more focus, especially the impact of their data centres, which contribute to 1% of global electricity consumption and 0.5% of all CO2 emissions.
The problem with data centre s is they have a static energy footprint. Businesses end up creating their own micro-world of power and resource consumption, using the same amount of energy no matter the computing power needed at a particular moment. That’s why cloud computing has been hailed as an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to bringing sustainability to the sector.
Cloud allows banks to scale their energy use according to need, which means energy is better managed. And it unlocks access to a plethora of innovative solutions that, if integrated, could help banks further optimise sustainability efforts, with many forward-thinking cloud service providers even beginning to transition to more renewable energy sources.
However, for an institution like a bank, migrating internal systems to the cloud or integrating new sustainability solutions is not a straightforward process. And the focus on minimising risk makes it very difficult for banks to introduce new solutions or innovate at pace.
Fast tracking innovation
That’s why we at Fujitsu have not only been focused on helping businesses digitally transform, but fundamentally reimagining the processes of innovation.
The Digital Sandbox Accelerator is a cloud agnostic environment that allows us to explore with clients how a new solution would perform in conjunction with their existing ecosystem of toolsets and solutions, in a rapid manner.
For instance, say a bank is interested in prototyping its API enablement approach and creating the required patterns. Instead of simply doing this in isolation, we at Fujitsu can work with the bank to use our Digital Sandbox Accelerator, in combination with our extensive partner network capabilities.
With it, we can create a working deployment of a reference architecture with an integrated ecosystem of the banks preferred third party solutions. And we can utilise sampled, anonymised data to both test and prove the approach.
Once the bank can see the software running in their preferred cloud environment with its chosen ecosystem of enterprise or fintech enablers, decision-makers gain a truly context-driven view of the solution.
So, the Digital Sandbox Accelerator can help banks get around some of the biggest hurdles preventing them from becoming adaptive organisations, allowing them to deliver on their sustainable promises at a faster pace.
Because the Digital Sandbox Accelerator means banks can fast track their experimentation efforts and circumvent the inherent internal latency often experienced when it comes to technology adoption.
Sustainable, adaptive and collaborative
To surmount the challenges of the climate crisis, businesses are going to have to make sweeping, rapid technical changes to their operations if they hope to reduce their carbon emissions at a meaningful pace.
But just as essential to the success of any transformation project is collaboration, and this is the other core purpose of the Digital Sandbox Accelerator. As, in addition to large well-established toolsets, it also includes solutions from fintechs and small startups.
As recently founded companies, some of these startups would struggle to just get a meeting with representatives from an established bank. And even if they did, it would be hard for them to really communicate the value their solutions can offer in a comprehensive and interactive way, because each is being demonstrated in isolation.
The Digital Sandbox Accelerator acts as an arena for these sorts of solutions to run in concert with the bank’s existing ecosystem, allowing decision-makers to understand the value that highly specialised technology can offer. In addition, the integrated environment enables third parties to work and innovate with us, combine products and improve their own solutions by exposing them to real-world scenarios.
And going forward, banks can continue to leverage the Digital Sandbox Accelerator almost as a digital twin to their ecosystem and use it to iteratively trial new solutions before deploying them.
With the ability to fast track innovation and forgo much of that internal latency preventing them from becoming adaptive organisations, banks can start to digitally transform into the businesses they need to evolve into to survive an uncertain future.
Fujitsu is similarly innovating to become an adaptive organisation so we can better enable our clients to do the same. To see how the Digital Sandbox Accelerator can help you boost your organisation’s innovation, get in touch so we can have you onboarded. And if you think you have a great toolset that could benefit the sandbox ecosystem and want to become a partner, let’s talk!
CTO Financial Services at Fujitsu