Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), demand on our IT systems has risen to record levels.
Our technology teams have been closely monitoring and anticipating developments, testing our systems and rapidly and proactively addressing any possible issues. In this way, they've been making sure applications critical to our business remain stable and that we can work remotely and serve our clients as normal.
A crisis is a special situation. The most important thing for technology was that people are able to connect and collaborate. After all, even in a crisis our goal is to offer customers the best possible service. Technology was able to make its contribution to that.
More than financial strength
As a systemically relevant bank, we have a responsibility to ensure operational continuity always. Doing so allows us to continue lending to individuals and businesses, facilitating investments to support the economy.
In the first months of the pandemic, with trades in some areas 300% higher and at times, 60,000 employees simultaneously logged on remotely around the world, our strength is about much more than capital – it's the expertise and dedication of our technology that keep us running smoothly.
A history of dedication to technology
Investing in technology is, by no means, a new initiative at UBS. We’ve been doing it for years (3.5 bn USD per annum) and those prior investments allow us to respond quickly and effectively in the face of unpredictable environments.
For example, during the pandemic, we have been able to introduce special task forces around the world, increasing global infrastructure capacity to support remote access and market volumes. We’ve also been able to facilitate the addition of staff to service desks to deal with hitherto unheard-of call volumes.
As demand is likely to continue to rise, we have contingencies for that too, be that in the form of expedited employee workspaces or the onboarding of additional staff to meet heightened demand for tech support.
And what is next? to continue our already ongoing remote-journey, we are currently piloting a Microsoft surface device as a new and flexible option for our employees to access the UBS network from anywhere. It will use apps such as Office, Teams and OneDrive natively, and allow connectivity to the virtual desktop infrastructure to run business applications.