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Access Bank’s CIO speaks about plans for 2010

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Tunde Coker, CIO Access Bank Plc

Tunde Coker, CIO Access Bank Nigeria Plc, sees a lot of opportunities for growth in his bank’s IT infrastructure. His strategy for 2010 includes implementation of emerging technologies, server virtualization and more collaboration with IT professionals in South Africa and Egypt.

Tunde Coker returned to his country of origin, Nigeria, after more than 30 years in the UK, with a vision to implement ICT strategies in the banking sector that would benefit Africa’s most populous nation.

“We have already implemented mobile banking and we are looking into exploiting emerging technologies. We are starting to get 3G and we are certainly considering virtualization”, he told ITNewsAfrica.com.

He added that cloud computing was not feasible at the moment, due to “bandwidth restrictions and level of control required”.

Coker’s plans for 2010 include the consolidation of the bank’s Web 2.0 efforts, consisting of video, audio and social media, “to better link the enterprise with mash-ups”.

A major challenge he faces is the availability and cost of bandwidth in Nigeria, “ We’ve used network optimization to reduce the need for bandwidth by 70% in some cases”, he said.

Mr. Coker added that bandwidth prices are going down in Nigeria with several undersea fibre-optic cables coming on-stream and the availability of 3G. “Over the next six months I see quite a lot of improvement in broadband access. So far, the latest developments give us access to reasonable Internet speeds”, commented Coker.

Access Bank Plc is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and has expanded into 9 countries in Africa. They are in Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Zambia and the UK.

The bank serves over two million customers from 130 branches and three non-banking subsidiaries- United Securities Limited, Access Homes and Mortgages Limited and Access Investment and Securities.

by Denisa Oosthuizen

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