Decisions and opportunities.

The cloud as the standard for modern-day banks

Published on: December 1, 2021

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The financial industry has transformed over the past decade in the way they serve their clients.

Now banks are pushed to seek  greater speed and agility through cloud adoption.

During the past years, many banks were confronted with significant barriers during the first phases of cloud adoption, and now are challenged to push down costs, manage security issues, and require better data capabilities. This limits the benefits and efficiencies that banks reap from adopting cloud strategies.

Early this year in a survey of McKinsey [1], it was pointed out that some organizations struggle with the pitfall of lift & shift strategies. Although these organizations moved their technology into the public cloud, they still largely replaced on-premise technology with off-premise virtual machines.

That results in few benefits in flexibility but in many cases increased operational costs. Also, the investment effort is not repaid with modern-day functionality or integration capabilities. And exactly those capabilities are required, when banks want to:  

  1. cater to new consumer behavior and  
  2. deal with increasingly more complex data demands from regulators. 

Disruptive banks and FinTech, do utilize the cloud for their neo initiatives. It allows them to keep their costs low, leverage increased integration capabilities for a composable architecture, and run much leaner organizations through SaaS delivery models. 

The established banks recognize the trend and look to deploy either existing or newly adopted technology in the cloud. A recent survey of Google [2] shows that a sizable portion of financial services organizations are utilizing the public cloud. It reports that 80% utilize the cloud as part of their primary infrastructure. This means that today’s benchmark in banking is the cloud. It also shows that the public cloud helps nearly all respondents (88%) to tackle major challenges that include regulatory compliance. 

A different survey by EY [3] points out that cloud adoption reaches 80% for generic functions like collaboration tooling, but production applications and supply chain applications are still far behind at less than 30%. 

The core banking function is addressed later in the cloud transition for various reasons. In the past decade, banks have heavily invested in creating internet touchpoints for internet and mobile banking, and more recently adopted cloud-based collaboration tooling following the Covid-19 pandemic. As banks clearly are rewarded with significant efficiency and functionality gains, it has increased the appetite to also apply a similar strategy for core banking.

Today large investments are still required to keep the status quo for on-premise core technology. Therefore the opportunity to make the shift to a modern cloud-native alternative is immense. This shift facilitates data insights, security, and integration capabilities. Nonetheless, it enables adaptation to rapidly changing requirements from the market or regulators.   



  1. Accelerating hybrid-cloud adoption in banking and securities  
  2. Google Cloud study: Cloud adoption increasing in financial services, but regulatory hurdles remain
  3. Moving to cloud computing in financial services 


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