Tech Leader for ‘Digitally Native’ Ally Financial Discusses Quantum Technology Partnership with Microsoft
(CIO) Ally Financial has partnered with Microsoft to leverage the tech giant’s quantum computing assets in its Azure cloud. With quantum, Ally is aiming to run sophisticated simulations exploring new financial products for customers more efficiently than with conventional computers, says Sathish Muthukrishnan, the all-digital bank’s chief information, data and digital officer.
Ultimately, Ally is exploring quantum to land on the right product for the right customer at the right time and at the right price, says Muthukrishnan. This aligns with Ally’s mission of using technology to treat each customer as its only customer, what Muthukrishnan describes as Ally’s “segment of one” philosophy.
To tackle the nontrivial challenges quantum poses, Ally joined Microsoft’s Enterprise Acceleration Program to explore use cases, leveraging software languages, APIs, and infrastructure to build quantum skills. Microsoft’s Azure Quantum cloud software is more than capable of processing information at high velocity and the lowest margin of error, according to Muthukrishnan, adding that the software maker operates with the speed of a startup but is backed by the vast resources of the enterprise mothership.
“It’s going to take time,” Muthukrishnan says. “But as the tech leader for a digitally native company, my job is to see the next big thing around the corner.”
Quantum can help scale Ally’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models to solve the optimization challenges confronting Ally’s business model, says Marcos Souza, Ally’s executive director, head of AI and advanced analytics.
One avenue Ally is exploring includes churning through large amounts of market data, including historical and geographical information, to determine the best prices for financial products. Another optimization challenge includes how to remarket leased motor vehicles at a time when the market is hot for used vehicles, an effort that hinges on multiple variables, including supply and demand, pricing, and geography.