Oracle’s CTO Discusses the Emergence of Fit-for-Purpose Digital Cloud Platforms in Banking

By Jay Ruffin, Yonas Yohannes, and Matt Williams
April 18, 2022
Season 3, Episode 14

The Hackett Group Director Jay Ruffin Senior talks with Oracle Cloud CTO Yonas Yohannes and Hackett Consultant Matt Williams about how the pandemic has accelerated the movement of banks towards cloud-based digital solutions as a key element of their overall digital transformation efforts.

Show Notes

Welcome to the Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode of the podcast is hosted Hackett Group Director Jay Ruffin and features guests Yonas Yohannes, Oracle Cloud CTO, and Matt Williams, a Senior Consultant with the Hackett Group.  The Hackett Group and Oracle have recently partnered to create a series of information on emerging needs for the financial services industry, especially focusing on cloud platform and financial services solutions. Today’s episode is the first in a five-part series diving into these topics!

To kick off the conversation, Yonas comments on the current situation of the financial services industry with a particular eye to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The pandemic advanced and expanded the digital transformation process already underway, pushing banks and other financial service organizations to adapt faster in order to meet customer expectations.  Banks, in particular, also face challenges pertaining to talent acquisition and understanding the “new customer.”  This “new customer” is a large contributor to growing quality of experience, as the evolving customer base is not only demographically different (including millennials) but expects a strong, technologically current experience and a relational rather than transactional approach to client engagement.

One way to gauge how well a given subset of the financial services industry is doing in the digital transformation process is to look at its use of the cloud.  A high workload migration level is a positive sign, and a helpful aim for financial services organizations to pursue.  Companies in the industry can leverage technology in the same way financial tech companies do in order to achieve goals, and Yonas explains what this means for banks, in particular.  Banks have to deal with legacy technology and the “friction” it brings and can look to both learn from past merger processes and partner with a fit-for purpose cloud platform (designed for a specific industry).

Yonas sees the banking industry slowly progressing in its digital transformation and credits this momentum to such platform partnerships and to banking solutions.  As innovation in financial services continues, organizations will have to be intentional about enhancing cyber security.  Banks with cloud platform partners will find strong cyber security allies in their cloud partners but must remember that customer security is ultimately the bank’s responsibility and needs to be incorporated into bank policies and procedures.  As the conversation wraps up, Yonas offers thoughts on what level of integration is necessary to get the full value out of a fit-for-purpose cloud platform and comments on how he thinks a CIO can prepare now for the future.


  • 0:51 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by Jay Ruffin.
  • 1:40 – The episode turns to Yonas and his overview of the financial services space.
  • 6:11 – On quality of experience and digital transformation
  • 10:13 – How does the financial services industry leverage tech like financial tech does?
  • 13:42 – Are any banks doing this well?
  • 16:03 – Conversation shifts to the topic of cyber security.
  • 20:12 – On this new platform partnership model and the necessary level of integration.
  • 25:08 – Yonas’s thoughts on what a CIO should be considering now in view of the future.