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Building a Castle on the Rock of Resilience - BDO Unibank on Fortifying Infrastructure


BDO Unibank took over as the largest bank in the Philippines in 2016, by way of total assets and market capitalization. As a full-service universal bank, our institutional strengths and value-added products and services hold the key to our long-established and successful business relationships. Our branches remain at the forefront of setting high standards as a sales and service-oriented, customer-focused force. Our corporate mission is to be the preferred bank in every market we serve, and we envision doing so by being an empowering medium for our customers.

To reach such ambitious ideals, there is one thing we must strive to maintain: resilience.

Growing pains: A Good Problem to Have

Every castle needs a moat. Whether it be natural disasters, pandemics or cybercrime, every company must prepare itself for any shock or stressor. One of the key things that we have to realize is that no system can be truly foolproof. We cannot create an infallible system; rather, we can train our ability to recover from and roll with inevitable blows.

The bank has come up against an enormous task when it comes to establishing resilience at every level, but such difficulties that come with exponential growth are certainly good problems to have. Such a monumental feat is something the bank must undertake if it is to remain at the top of its game.

If something happens, what measures do we have in place to deal with it? How do we get back up quickly, and make sure services go as uninterrupted as possible?

We can build infrastructure up to be a certain level of resilient, and invest heavily in security, but there will always be problems along the way. That means we have to take certain steps to fortify our castle.

The first measure is to make sure we are able to pinpoint issues very quickly. Second, we must be able to ratify and rectify issues found; and third, we must be able to recover services as fast as possible.

From the Castle Walls to the Armed Guards: Security at Every Level

The next phase after making sure your infrastructure is accounted for is ensuring the applications you provide are just as resilient.

There are several ways we can do this. One is by having the application providers work closely with the infrastructure providers, and making sure that when an application is having an issue, it’s able to flag what’s happening.

Another way is rigorous testing. In doing so, we can ensure as few bugs as possible make it through to the final product.

Lastly, I think AI can be used to double or triple check code to see if there are any issues we simply did not pick up. Sometimes, when evaluating your own code, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, and a fresh “eye” on it can reveal the unexpected.

The All-Seeing A-Eye

We are investing heavily in AI, particularly generative AI. One of the key things that we invested in previously was Huawei's Dorado Storage. The technology was a great addition to our growing resistance. We’re looking to fortify our data centers with smart solutions.

With regards to the front line, AI also has an increasing role in our services. For example, when a BDO employee is looking for a certain policy or answer, they can ask an AI assistant that has been trained on everything BDO. For instance, if they were to ask, how do I renew a time deposit? Or, what's the policy on a two-month time deposit? The assistant would be able to give them an instant answer. We’re hoping that this will make all of our employees more productive, and ultimately provide a much better customer service.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, products, and technologies of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. If you need to learn more about the products and technologies of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., please visit our product pages or contact us.