QIB opens new data centre

New IT centre opened as part Qatar Islamic Bank's revamped technology strategy

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By  Mark Sutton Published  December 1, 2008

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has completed a major upgrade to its data centre, as part of an ongoing project to overhaul all of its IT by 2010.

The new data centre was officially opened by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al-Thani, Governor of the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) at QIB’s Doha headquarters.

The IT upgrade is intended to allow QIB to launch new services, improve communications and improve reliability of all of its services in Qatar. The data centre will manage many of the banks systems, including core banking, online banking, treasury, ATMs, HR, commercial services, as well as includes security and safety applications including CCTV.

Speaking at the inauguration, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al-Thani said: “QCB is glad about this development since we are aware that Qatari banks should be fully updated and prepared in relation to technology. We are certain our banks comply with the most recent standards regarding Information Technology systems which we deem necessary, as these systems now constitute a major element in developed banking services.

“QCB is keen for all banks operating in Qatar to have efficient, hi-tech systems to execute their work, such as electronic clearance, credit ceilings, money collection, customer data and bank transfers. In addition, the new system acts to provide and promote a strong communication environment locally and with international banks,” he added.

The bank’s upgrade program includes a complete internal and external restructure of its networking infrastructure, and the bank has also rolled out an EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 storage system to handle all of its data management requirements.

“Developing the bank's technology is one of our strategic priorities, especially since these systems comprise such a vital element of managing banking institutions,” said Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, QIB chairman.

“We have improved our banking technologies in order to secure a developed Information Technology environment that will allow QIB to present new electronic banking services, form an even more solid IT foundation, link our branches network, and provide hi-tech communications solutions with local and global banks,” he added.

The bank’s IT overhaul includes 30 projects, which the bank says is now 70% complete. Among the future projects are certifying for the ISO 27001 data security standard, plans to virtualize the environment and a move from a temporary disaster recovery site to a dedicated off site centre.

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