Mr Tan Choon Boon
Professional of the Year, 2019
Choon Boon is the Managing Director in DBS' Group Technology and Operations. He has been with DBS for 19 years and was instrumental in leading the bank's technology transformation journey. In his current role, Choon Boon is a cloud evangelist leading a team of 200 DevOps engineers and developers, and the adoption of internal and public cloud. These new capabilities improve the bank's ability to be more agile and resilience, all at a lower cost. Improvements such as these are helping DBS in its goal of becoming a tech-fin company.
Choon Boon also pioneered software defined automation that enables system provisioning and infrastructure changes in minutes, instead of months. Some examples include operating system provisioning, day-to-day runbook operations and disaster recovery. This supports a higher release cadence and higher than industry server-to-administrator ratio. All this is necessary for cost effective business experimentation and shorter lead time between ideation to commercialisation. While other banks are busy consolidating and expanding data centres, DBS has shrunk their data centre by 75%, while supporting 10x capacity growth.
Choon Boon and his team designed and deployed DBS first internal cloud platform with the industry's highest standards of security and resiliency. He also established active-active data centres which enable workloads to function seamlessly across data centres without any downtime. This private cloud now supports more than 84% of the bank applications and is implemented across all DBS markets.
In addition to taking care of the bank's hardware, Choon Boon is also a firm believer in employee talent development, the "heartware" of the bank. He has helped reskill more than 200 DBS employees in DevOps in the last 3 years. These employees have been successfully upskilled and are now equipped to take on new roles as DevOps engineers and developers.
Choon Boon has a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University. He started his career in DBS as an application developer before taking on other functions in enterprise architecture, system engineering, information security and infrastructure operation.
He is a passionate technologist and he is grooming the next generation of technologists in the organisation and his community. His son shares his passion for tech, and learned coding when he was 8 through Scratch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) online programming community. At 10, he is now learning python.