How financial services can benefit from cloud computing

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In financial services, trust is key. Find out how cloud computing can make a difference for your customers and your business.

Image: Dilok/Adobe Stock

In the days of cryptocurrency and Apple Pay, many people are increasingly comfortable with the intersection of currency and the digital world. Financial institutions are also in this transition period. It can be nerve-wracking to think about changing the way data flows in an organization where trust and security are paramount. But don’t think about turning to the banking safe deposit box sector just yet. Financial services can benefit from cloud computing in several ways.

Cloud computing can reduce the amount of DevOps work that needs to be done within the business, save money after an initial investment, improve reliability and speed, and help improve the customer experience. Take a look at the benefits that financial institutions are getting today, as well as some of the downsides. Don’t think of the cloud as a fix that can solve all problems.

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Cost savings

At best, the greater efficiency that comes with cloud computing can also lead to cost savings. Keri Smith from Accenture The practice of Applied Intelligence for financial services has found several major reasons why moving to the cloud can lead to cost savings. Running data in the cloud can save up to 65%, although the average is around 20%, she said.

Plus, scaling the amount of cloud space you need ensures you only pay for what you use. Additionally, moving core functions to the cloud instead of maintaining mainframes on-premises can eliminate the expense of the mainframe itself. It’s not guaranteed, though: take a look at your setup and see if that 20% works for you.

Better speed

Accenture has also found moving to the cloud faster, and that doesn’t just mean the time it takes to retrieve data from a spreadsheet. His recent report found that it brought “greater digital literacy across the organization, increased worker productivity, and reduced training and development costs.”

However, be sure to balance this with some processes that might slow down as employees get used to working with new methods and applications. Digital fluency takes time on its own, and the cost and time it takes may need to be factored into moving to the cloud.

However, the intersection between numerical speed and the time it takes for humans to catch up is complicated. Working in the cloud can mean it takes less time to train machine learning models. HSBC with Google Cloud changed that from a week to just an hour. But, automation doesn’t make up for poor call center training or other bottlenecks to make sure the system works for real people.

Client experience

Speaking of customers calling, the customer experience can be very different with the cloud. Deltec Bank found that adding advanced computing integrating the cloud into its financial services offerings can enable more personalized experiences, such as facial recognition or virtual cashiers that automatically deliver relevant information to each individual customer.

Stephen Fabel, director of Canonical and creator of Ubuntu, points out that robotic computer vision or machine learning can enable this type of experience in bank branches. It could also relate to the idea of ​​bringing your own banking device which brings customer data closer to today’s mobile offerings.

Scalable and continuous operations

Deltec Bank also predicts that with more personalized operations, the cloud will bring continuous and scalable business operations. Personalized interactions between cashiers and customers will be able to take place without a direct connection to a data center.

Computer vision could help a bank operate even when employees are unavailable. It will also reduce the weight given to on-premises digital assets.

When it comes to scaling, more and more organizations are placing more importance on the cloud. Gartner says three-quarters of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed at the edge by 2025. A cloud provider may recommend a plan for the stage of the cloud journey each organization is in.

Examining scale will also tell you if your organization might not be big enough or moving in the right direction to make connecting with a cloud service provider cost-effective. For banking and other financial services, this may include consideration of how to cope with an economic downturn while delivering exactly what your customers want to do with their money in uncertain times. Determine how and if modernization will be a good decision for your financial institution as a whole.

DevOps outsourcing and modernization

PwC points out that some of the modernization that comes with the cloud is actually just another case of finding the right experts among mere humans. Its cloud solution allows organizations to outsource technical specialization for cloud, mainframe and modernization. Its services are designed for financial institutions, so the people behind them will also have industry-specific expertise and insights.

Assisted modernization can ensure a smooth transition from legacy systems to a cloud-first model. Just as financial cloud services allow customers to have more personalized services, a good cloud service provider also knows how to customize their offerings based on the type of legacy systems an organization has. The speed of modernization and the systems upgraded, when and for what reasons, will differ between them.

Trying to decide what type of cloud services is best for your financial services organization? Take a look at more financial services software, IBM Cloud for Financial Services Where Bank as a service.

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