As the banking industry accelerates its digital transformation journey, the cloud has emerged as a pivotal enabler for banks. In the quest to meet changing customer preferences and compete with cloud-native fintech companies, banks are recognising the potential of the cloud to enhance agility and security. Banks that are adopting cloud solutions are witnessing a range of advantages, including flexible and scalable IT infrastructure, faster time to market, and the ability to leverage exponential technologies like AI and data analytics.
The Benefits of Cloud Adoption
Cloud adoption empowers banks with flexible and scalable IT infrastructure, allowing them to rapidly adapt to evolving banking needs and offer innovative, personalised services to customers. The dynamic scalability and elastic load-balancing capabilities of the cloud enable banks to handle peak transaction loads without compromising on service quality.
Furthermore, banks can significantly reduce operational costs associated with infrastructure management while harnessing the power of cloud-native technologies to drive efficiency and innovation.
It is not something that is confined to one country or region either. The benefits of cloud usage and implementation have been seen globally.
In Asia, DBS Bank has embraced cloud technology to enhance its digital capabilities. By adopting a cloud-first strategy, DBS has been able to build scalable and resilient banking services, enabling faster market introductions for new products and services. The bank also utilises cloud infrastructure to support digital channels, risk management, and customer engagement initiatives. DBS Bank‘s cloud adoption has not only improved operational efficiency but also enabled the bank to deliver seamless digital experiences to its customers.
In the United States, Capital One has been at the forefront of cloud adoption. The bank has leveraged cloud services from providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance its data analytics capabilities and drive personalised customer experiences. Capital One’s cloud-powered infrastructure enables real-time data analysis, fraud detection, and tailored recommendations for its customers. By harnessing the cloud’s scalability and computational power, Capital One has also transformed its operations and created innovative digital solutions.
Here in Europe, Santander in the UK has reimagined its IT infrastructure, allowing for greater scalability, flexibility, and agility. The bank has migrated several key applications and systems to the cloud. Santander UK has leveraged cloud infrastructure to support its digital channels, risk management, and customer engagement initiatives. All of this allows its customers to interact with the bank seamlessly across various digital touchpoints, such as accessing online banking services, making transactions, managing accounts, and receiving personalised recommendations.
Choosing the Right Deployment Model
The choice between public and private cloud deployment depends on each bank’s unique requirements and preferences. Public cloud models excel in handling scale, flexibility, and on-demand computing but may face challenges related to data residency and governance. On the other hand, private cloud models prioritise security, control, and compliance.
However, a growing number of banks are embracing hybrid cloud models, combining the advantages of public and private clouds. This approach allows banks to leverage scalability, efficiency, and technology capabilities while ensuring data security and regulatory compliance.
While embracing hybrid and multi-cloud models, banks need to address complexities related to data replication, standardisation, and interoperability. Opting for cloud-native and cloud-agnostic applications ensures seamless operations and future readiness in a multi-cloud setup.
However, banks face specific challenges concerning large-scale public cloud adoption due to regulatory considerations. To address these concerns in Europe, banks have formed the European Cloud User Coalition (ECUC) to advocate for competitive data storage solutions and facilitate dialogue with regulatory bodies and cloud service providers.
As banks globally pursue digital transformation with cloud adoption, customer satisfaction, data security, and meeting evolving needs remain paramount. Carefully planning a cloud adoption strategy that optimises costs, resilience, deployment speed, automation, and innovation capabilities is crucial. Hybrid and multi-cloud approaches offer viable paths forward, allowing banks to extract the best from their cloud investments while adhering to regulatory requirements. By leveraging the cloud, banks can unlock agility, enhance security, and drive innovation, ultimately delivering superior banking experiences to their customers in the constantly evolving digital landscape.
John Barber is vice president and head of Europe at Infosys Finacle.