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Is the cloud the best way forward for the financial services?

August 22nd, 2014 Backbone Connect, Blog, Cloud Platform, Future, Generation Cloud

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Computing for the financial sectorFor the tech-savvy customers of one rather large UK-listed financial organisation, its banking app is godsend. Or, at least, a bit of a time saver. For those with accounts in two separate branches – where one branch in a ‘north-ish’ part of the UK, and the other is in a ‘south-ish’ part of the UK – it is no longer possible to access both balances via the traditional internet banking website. So separate log-ins each time. It’s a legislative thing, don’t you know. But… you can still access both accounts using the organisations dedicated app.

By the way, don’t let the FSA know about that one, please, it’s really handy. The point here is that apps and mobile devices appear tailor made for personal and business financial services. As are, when more efficiently implemented than the previous example, more ‘traditional’ online services. Pay that invoice in a few thumb clicks, check that balance and chase that invoice in even less. Simple.

Indeed, the massive increase in the popularity of ‘financial virtual services’ leaves a number of UK bank’s property departments scratching their heads and trying to work out what to do with the extensive, and expensive, retail outlets on their books. Assuming that introducing a range of coffee shops and nail bars is not an acceptable strategy, expect to see the likes of banks merging the slickness of in-store cloud-based retail financial services with the useful addition of in-person staff on-hand to discuss, and guide.

So that’s all fine, then – the financial services industry loves technology and there is nothing more to see here? Oh, what if there is an earthquake though? Or maybe some rioting? Given the massive reliance on technology, it’s fair to assume that these organisations have guarded against these sorts of unexpected events. Disaster recovery programmes all round? Nope. The findings of the Cloud Security Readiness Tool reported that 38% of financial institutions say that they have not budgeted for a disaster recovery plan.

This is where a cloud computing-based plan comes in. The agility provided by a cloud-backed system enables organisation to respond swiftly to changing environments. And the changes may not be just physical ones. Regulatory changes now come thick and fast, meaning that IT departments must be able to response equally swiftly. Organisations making the move to cloud computing strategies – most likely a hybrid arrangement – increase revenue, lower costs, and boost the ability to quickly and effectively respond to business-threatening events.

Ultimately, the customers should be the winner here, enjoying higher levels of service and cutting edge technology. At the very least, customers of ‘that’ bank should find that having to log-in twice to access accounts which sit beside each in the virtual branch in the sky is a thing of the past.

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