When it comes to developing a cloud strategy for banks, the first concern at the top of everyone’s list is security. And rightfully so, as research conducted by Unisys and the Ponemon Institute last year — Critical Infrastructure: Security Preparedness and Maturity — found that nearly 70% of critical infrastructure organizations surveyed reported at least one security breach that led to the loss of confidential information over a 12 month timeframe. However, there are four other factors that are just as important to consider that could make or break an enterprise’s cloud strategy:
More than Savings – Certainly, cloud configurations promise and deliver significant cost savings, but if that’s the primary benefit you hope to achieve, you are vastly underplaying cloud’s value – and vastly underestimating how essential speed is to your competitiveness. The next wave of competitive advantage will be driven by those who fully engage in the digital transformation of their business. The ability to react and adapt quickly to your customer base is critical for business success.
A New Mindset – To implement a new cloud platform is not as simple as flipping a switch. A bank must make sure that it has new roles, leadership and a transparent plan to ensure everyone understands exactly how the model should work. This is not just an IT/cloud transition, but more importantly a transformation of business processes which will be underpinned by enabling technologies of cloud, hybrid cloud and ultimately hybrid IT.
One Step at a Time – Ultimately, cloud can and will transform your bank in remarkable ways, but don’t feel as though you have to undertake it all, or even understand it all, in one fell swoop. Banks need to focus on making respectable, attainable progress rather than setting goals that are ultimately unattainable. For some banks, the better approach is to move one step at a time, for example, moving non-sensitive functions to public cloud, experimenting with big data on private cloud, and parsing other functions on hybrid cloud configurations.
Making It Sing– The desired result for any bank looking to transition to the cloud is interoperability, or the ability to connect and shift seamlessly. Whether it’s moving from one cloud operator to another, from private cloud to public cloud or vice versa, or enabling your apps running on different clouds to talk to each other intelligibly, automatic interoperability is on the horizon. Though not yet today’s reality, cloud service providers are looking at ways to automate the process and improve the user experience.
The new reality is that cloud provides banks with an opportunity to not only stay competitive with their competition, but to also provide their customers with the information and access they need. However, to activate this transformation and access this value requires a holistic strategy, a cultural shift with management buy-in, and an attainable adoption plan. The companies that focus only on security or cost reductions will make significant trade-offs in competitive advantage, growth and ultimately profitability.