Cloud Adoption in Financial Services

Insights from a survey covering more than 100 financial institutions in the EU and the UK and lessons learned from 1,000 cloud projects conducted by Reply with financial institutions.

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Cloud services are transforming how value is created in the finance sector

For the financial services industry the future is cloud.

This is due to factors such as increased productivity, innovation and scalability – and, at least as importantly, because moving to the cloud frees up time and energy for more strategic issues. Data storage and computing power are increasingly seen as utilities best left to firms who specialise in them.

But the progress of cloud adoption is not the same across the industry or across geographies. And many firms find their experience of cloud adoption does not match their expectations when they began the process of moving activity to the cloud.

Key insights into cloud adoption in financial services

Benefits of cloud Implementation
The adoption of cloud has important benefits:
 
  • Scales on demand
  • Enables innovation
  • Speeds up implementation
  • Decreases reliance on legacy systems
 
Challenges of cloud implementation
But significant challenges still face firms that seek to adopt:  
 
  • Lack of suitable suppliers
  • Lack of cultural readiness
  • Dependence on third party suppliers
  • Security
 
Factors affecting the timing of adoption
Timing and speed of adoption are affected by a number of factors:
 
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Incompatibility with existing systems

The challenge (and opportunity) of cloud security

Security is perhaps the matter for which our survey unearthed the most striking paradox with a large percentage of respondents noting that the cloud significantly enhanced their security positions vis-à-vis traditionally hosted systems, while many respondents stressed that security concerns were among the most challenging issues encountered in transitioning to the cloud.

What explains the difference? The more experience a respondent had with the cloud the more they recognised that well executed cloud implementation can actually improve security:

Cloud adoption requires an organisation-wide culture change

The speed and impact of cloud adoption are highly dependent upon the availability of the right people, the existence of the right culture, and the readiness of leaders. Getting the technology right without having the right people, culture and leadership in place will not result in the business impact and return on investment that is possible from a well-managed transition to the cloud.