Work in financial services?
Learn how Cloud computing supports agility, resilience, competitiveness, innovation, regulatory compliance and business continuity.
In this article we explain the benefits of moving to the cloud for financial services firms in retail and commercial banking, insurance, real estate, wealth management and private equity:
- What is the Cloud?
- Why should I move to the Cloud?
- What do some key Cloud services terms mean?
- The tangible advantages of moving to the Cloud
Read this article to gain a clear understanding of how Cloud computing can improve your financial services business performance and growth, and better prepare you to effectively tackle any future challenges arising from uncertain situations.
What is the cloud?
Cloud computing means technology services and infrastructure that are provided over the internet. Data is stored off-site, minimising risks and costs. The traditional alternative is “on-prem” (on-premises) infrastructure, meaning hardware in your offices or on the premises of an outsourced computing provider. Cloud facilities and services can include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence. Employees and end customers can access cloud services and data and manage their accounts on the web or using a mobile device.
Different types of cloud
Public cloud – such as Microsoft Azure. Microsoft owns and manages all the hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure.
Private cloud – a single organisation has exclusive use of cloud computing resources. A private cloud can be located on-site in the company’s data centre, or a third party can host it. The private cloud’s services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
Why move from on-premise to cloud computing?
If you currently have servers, storage and data processing hardware, software, applications and infrastructure hosted on your premises, you’ll know it takes time, expertise and money to maintain and update these resources to keep pace with market demands and growth. When you migrate to Cloud computing on a subscription model, all that is included. You reduce capital investment and gain the flexibility to scale technology as your business needs change.
To better help answer the question, “Should I move to the Cloud?”, here are some specific benefits for financial services.
9 advantages of moving to the cloud for financial services
1. Resilience and business continuity
To protect your sensitive customer and financial data, you need highly secure and robust IT systems. The biggest cloud computing services, like Microsoft Azure, use a global network of secure data centres, with the latest generation of efficient computing hardware. That means you get fast and reliable performance, with the network sharing demand and load across multiple sites so there’s always enough power, storage and bandwidth for everyone who needs it. Outages and downtime are a thing of the past, with secure back-ups always available from a mirrored Cloud data centre.
2. Meet escalating regulatory and compliance demands
There are ever more stringent regulations and higher expectations of a rapid response by financial services organisations. You need to be agile and able to move quickly and decisively to meet and show compliance with changes in regulations. With Cloud computing, system changes are easier to apply.
3. Reduce time and cost of maintenance
Cloud infrastructure, software and services take away the traditionally high operating costs of on-premises IT: you pay on a subscription basis for the service. You can dispense with your maintenance overheads and redeploy your IT team on more valuable digital development activities. Powerful and robust IT is the engine room of a business: cloud computing means you can access the latest technology infrastructure and software affordably.
4. Meet and exceed evolving customer expectations
Speed and responsiveness are critical in financial services, to retain customers and secure their loyalty. The Microsoft Cloud platform allows you to adapt and evolve to keep pace with demand. It supports omni-channel, seamless and personalised campaigns, communications and self-service portals on any device. With integrated data and real-time visibility, you have a 360-degree view of client activity, so you can tailor your client management and propositions to match and anticipate current needs.
5. Defend your customer base from rivals
With new market entrants making full use of Cloud technology to offer innovative services, digital disrupters are a threat to your market share. You need to retain customers that they may target. Constant access to the latest versions of tools and apps in the Microsoft cloud means your team always benefits from technology innovation that supports customer experience innovation. They can develop, test and launch new and improved services and propositions faster and more efficiently.
6. Faster complaints and claims processing
With Cloud computing, you can streamline processes and make crucial, up-to-date customer and product data available to staff immediately. Move decisions along with automation and easy integration of specialist systems and apps. Cloud computing delivers speed and efficiency in administration, claims checking and issue resolution.
7. Big data insight and analytics
With the Cloud, you can consolidate your customer data cleanly and accurately into a single source of truth. Leverage this with the vast amount of external data available to help predict trends, tailor offers and investments for individuals. Inbuilt Microsoft analytics and reporting dashboards generate business intelligence that helps you predict demand and shape customer experiences. Integrating Microsoft PowerBI adds even more sophisticated business intelligence for financial services.
8. Leading cyber-security
Microsoft’s cloud data centres are monitored 24/7 by 3,500 cybersecurity experts and intelligent systems that prevent and protect from security breaches. Microsoft invests over one billion dollars annually in security development, meaning your data and transactions are safeguarded by industry-leading protocols and software. Protection is applied automatically and continually updated to stay ahead of threats.
9. Remote, mobile access for staff and customers
Your employees can use any combination of locations and technology that suits their work style. They can collaborate effectively whenever and wherever they are, supported by a single platform and all the business apps they need. They can access real-time data and intelligent insights. Cloud computing also brings customers secure, anytime access to apps, portals and automated services via mobile or desktop. Customers gain the autonomy and convenience they’ve come to expect from trusted suppliers and service providers.
Talk to a specialist Xpedition financial services consultant if you’d like to understand exactly how moving to the Microsoft Azure cloud with Xpedition’s Financial Services Xcelerator can support agility, increase resilience and improve customer experiences for your organisation.
Your path to growth
Xpedition is a Microsoft Gold Partner and expert at guiding FS organisations to success through the implementation of intelligent, cloud-based business applications.