CSE Moves to the Cloud to Create Secure, Data-Driven Future for Financial Customers


Italy’s CSE is embracing the cloud to provide more flexible and cost-effective IT solutions to its financial services clients. Working with AWS, it has developed a cloud-native data platform that allows its clients to better understand their customer needs and quickly respond to changing market forces, while addressing their data security and compliance concerns.

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“Working with AWS, we realized that when you develop the talent in a company, anything is possible. Now that we’ve begun this transformation, we only see positive things for us and our clients. There is no going back—only moving forward towards greater levels of collaboration and innovation.”

Floriano Dian
Deputy General Manager, CSE

After nearly 50 years of providing IT solutions to the Italian banking and financial sector, CSE has found a new way to provide its more than 150 clients with deeper understanding of their customers and better risk management. 

CSE calls the new model the “data-driven bank” and uses insights gained from information about its clients’ unique businesses to generate new services and products for their customers that can drive sales and minimize risks.

To achieve this, CSE knew it needed the flexibility of a cloud-native architecture. It also knew the traditional Italian financial industry was reluctant to embrace cloud-based digital transformation, due to concerns about data security and the ability to comply with industry regulations. 

Moving Banks Towards a Data-Driven Future

CSE approached Amazon Web Services (AWS) for help in moving its clients towards a more data-driven future. CSE chose AWS because of its presence in Italy, the ease of access and availability of local AWS staff, and the thoroughness of its proposal.

AWS began with CSE’s own digital transformation, by moving its on-premises data platform into the cloud and rearchitecting it from the ground up. AWS provided the cloud expertise CSE needed while also demonstrating knowledge of the local financial services industry. 

“The support we’ve received from AWS has been fundamental to our success,” said Floriano Dian, Deputy General Manager at CSE. “It helped us to devise the best technical strategies and supported our learning curve when moving to the cloud.”

Because of the experience AWS has working with global financial institutions, it was able to help CSE to reassure its clients that their data would be safeguarded in the cloud and they would be able to satisfy all compliance guidelines.

AWS best practices mean all of its solutions adhere to the highest encryption and security standards, including the ability to set data access based on roles, so even sensitive financial information is safe. Using AWS Regions and Availability Zones, specifically the AWS Italian (Milan) Region, also allow CSE to ensure clients always know where their data is located to comply with data residency regulations.

New Platform Brings Cost-Effective Services

Working with AWS, CSE created a serverless data platform to better meet its clients’ needs. The new platform supports data analysis that helps its customers to understand their operations and customer needs—and to generate insights on how to improve them through new processes, products, and services. 

The solution was built on an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3),  AWS Glue, and AWS Glue DataBrew for the underlying system. For the data analysis, querying, and business intelligence, the new CSE solution relies on Amazon Athena and Amazon QuickSight.

Now CSE can provide a flexible, customizable solution for each client. It’s able to easily turn apps on and off based on customers’ needs, and to quickly provide new services to customers in a cost-effective way. 

“Thanks to the on-demand model of AWS, our clients pay only for the services they consume,” says Dian. “At the same time, they receive more benefits, such as access to real-time data about their operations.”  

Adapting to Market Changes with Real-Time Data

CSE’s new solution offers its clients real-time data streamed throughout the day and instant access to multiple data sets, compared to previously when customers had to place special requests to get the type of information and level of detail they required. 

Now, with up-to-date data and the ability to run complex queries, its clients can generate valuable insights and react quickly to business changes in the financial market, such as a rise in interest rates. This gives them a better chance of knowing which services would be a success or how to tailor existing services to evolving customer needs. It also allows banks to easily adjust to the changes in demand for services from banking customers, and to effectively comply with financial services regulations. Thanks to account aggregation enabled by the PSD2 regulation, customer information coming from different banks can now be analyzed within a centralized, customer-centric view, so it takes financial institutions less time to ensure compliance.

Insights gained from real-time data also allow banks to understand how to speed up internal processes, such as reducing the time needed to validate a loan request, sign up for a credit card, or open a current account. Algorithms running on the data platform also allow CSE’s clients to quickly analyze and assess credit risk.

“Speed and simplicity of banking services is important to our customers, because there is so much competition from similar institutions,” says Dian.  

Moving Forward to Greater Levels of Collaboration and Innovation

Through CSE’s transformation process, AWS has helped the IT solutions provider to develop cloud knowledge amongst its IT team, which previously lacked experience in this area. CSE and AWS are now looking at ways to further improve data analytics capabilities for its clients and increase the quality of their business insights through the use of machine learning. 

“Working with AWS, we realized that when you develop the talent in a company, anything is possible,” says Dian. “Now that we’ve begun this transformation, we only see positive things for us and our clients. There is no going back—only moving forwards towards greater levels of collaboration and innovation.”

AWS Services Used

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. 

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AWS Glue

AWS Glue is a serverless data integration service that makes it easy to discover, prepare, and combine data for analytics, machine learning, and application development.

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Amazon Athena

Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.

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Amazon QuickSight

Amazon QuickSight allows everyone in your organization to understand your data by asking questions in natural language, exploring through interactive dashboards, or automatically looking for patterns and outliers powered by machine learning.

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