60% of financial services firms consider public cloud a strategic priority

A total of 60 per cent of financial services organisations believe that public cloud platforms will be strategically important for them in the next two to five years, as the pace of digital transformation accelerates in the industry.

A survey of 488 financial services firms by application services company F5 found that the number of firms strategically considering public cloud platforms was up sharply from 49 per cent in 2019, as 84 per cent of firms continue to execute their digital transformation plans.

Three quarters of these said the key driver for digital transformation is to increase the speed of new product and service deployment.

The report found that cloud services were on the rise in financial services, despite security concerns. While two thirds of organisations were confident in their ability to withstand an application attack on premises, only 40 per cent said the same when it comes to the public cloud.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of firms asked said they had either already implemented Open Banking or were planning to. Within this subset, 68 per cent said they were deploying Application Programming Interface (API) gateways to innovative new services and share data with partners and open APIs to public developer networks.

In this context security remains a pressing concern, especially with 87 per cent of organisations embracing multi-cloud environments, and 41 per cent determining the type of cloud to support an application on a case-by-case basis.

Asked about the biggest challenges of managing applications in a multi-cloud environment, 59 per cent of respondents highlighted the need to apply consistent security policies across all company applications, well ahead of migrating apps among clouds/data centres (32 per cent), gaining visibility into application health, or optimising the performance of the application (both 26 per cent).

Lori MacVittie, principal technical evangelist at F5, said: “The idea that financial services applications would be the slowest to move into the cloud has been clearly disproven.

“Instead we are seeing the industry go ‘all in’ on multi-cloud adoption as organisations seek to increase the pace of their digital transformation and more quickly deploy the applications that will deliver a high-quality customer experience,” she explained.

“Ultimately, financial services organisations that face growing competition from digital challengers are turning to the cloud to meet the needs of customers who now expect a seamless FinTech service.”

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