Financial institutions (FIs) and every other manner of business is right now learning a lesson in resiliency, for good or ill. As reports of how different sectors of the financial services industry performed during the global emergency, a few things stand out. Among them is how banks and FIs that had moved some or all operations to cloud environments fared better.
“FIs already using cloud-enabled infrastructure had an advantage in the immediate response phase,” Martin Frick, managing director of APAC at Temenos, told PYMNTS in the July Digital Banks And The Power Of The Cloud Tracker® done in collaboration with NuoDB.
“This validated many of the claims that cloud adoption does in fact enable safe scalability and results in business agility. This was true for the immediate response but also for responses to new market opportunities in the future,” Frick said. “It enables a fast time to market for new products and greater experimentation in adopting innovations. Since the barrier to entry is lower and commitments are shorter, it is easier to justify trialing a new idea.”
Cloud systems built on robust SQL databases for mission-critical workloads are among the instructive topics covered in the July Digital Banks And The Power Of The Cloud Tracker®.
FIs, Big Tech And The Cloud
Much of the rethinking of operations triggered by the pandemic and its after-effects comes down to the fact that legacy systems may have kept up with the digital shift, but older systems were pushed to their limit and beyond.
A new debate arising from this era is, these days, “What is a bank?”
“I see a lot of other companies — other banks, actually — go, ‘Up is using [the cloud]. If we use [the cloud], we will also be innovative,’” Michael Morris, head of technology at Australian FinTech Up, told PYMNTS. “I think that misses the point. Fundamentally, we are a technology company making a bank as opposed to a bank trying to make technology. While we see organizations adopting [the] cloud, what they actually have to do if they really want to be successful is to reinvent themselves as technology companies and put the engineering and the technology at the very pinnacle of their organizations.”
Got that? Banks need to start thinking (and acting) like technology firms. This fact is looming larger now as the Big Tech players launch competing card and deposit account services.
To counter this, “Banks are exploring novel cloud applications, too, researching how other technologies such as automated tools can integrate with these platforms to increase their effectiveness,” the July Tracker states. “The debate over whether FIs benefit most from public or private cloud environments is also evolving, with many banks now utilizing a combination of various software types. These multicloud approaches can also leverage cloud solutions from several providers to finalize the online processes or transactions.”
‘Several Key Advantages’
Technology companies wanting to be banks too are becoming more common every day, and traditional FIs need to fight digital with digital if they don’t want to lose customers.
“Cloud technologies offer several key advantages for FIs looking to create digitally focused banking platforms. Banks have more choice in how they structure their cloud platforms than they did earlier in the technology’s life cycle,” the Tracker states.
“Private cloud innovations can allow FIs to keep their data siloed as it would be on physical mainframes, for example, while public cloud platforms enable more speed when it comes to rolling out new tools and communicating with customers.”