Financial services cloud adoption 'key to beating competition'

While most financial organisations worldwide (89 per cent) are moving to the cloud, a significant amount (68 per cent) already reckon that cloud migration has greatly or moderately changed their business for the better.

Unisys surveyed 155 senior IT and business leaders within financial services in 13 countries around the world - including the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands - finding uncertainty across the financial services industry in relation to the pace of technological innovation.

In fact, 59 per cent of financial institutions were concerned about becoming a technological laggard, while 64 per cent expressed concerns about their competition innovating first.

Against this backdrop, the research found that the cloud is being recognised as a strategy that can tackle this issue, with 70 per cent of financial organisations saying they saw an increase in competitive advantage from migrating to the cloud, while a third said that driving innovation was a key driver of cloud transition. Meanwhile, IT and data security was found to be another big driver for cloud adoption, with 65 per cent citing it as an expected benefit.

Three quarters of senior business leaders at financial institutions with more than half of their IT on cloud were more likely to see a greater change in organisational effectiveness compared to those organisations which had not significantly moved to the cloud, according to Unisys.

In particular, the majority (77 per cent) said migration to the cloud had met or exceeded their expectations for security, improving the supply chain (75 per cent) and driving innovation (74 per cent).

The study also showed that 71 per cent of financial institutions which decided to use a third party to help with moving to and optimising the cloud felt that organisational effectiveness had changed greatly or moderately for the better. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of financial service businesses said they needed third-party support with migration to the cloud when they were optimising their cloud transformation process.

With cyber security being such a priority for cloud transition, over half of financial institutions (57 per cent) also admitted that they needed third parties to support them in this critical element of cloud transformation.

Overall, the research found that financial institutions which integrate cloud into their core business strategy see greater results. In fact, 79 per cent of organisations which integrate cloud as core to their business strategy witnessed greater benefits, as opposed to 42 per cent of institutions which deemed cloud as minor to their business strategy.

However, relatively few financial organisations (27 per cent) have embraced a multi-cloud approach. In addition, a third admitted to needing third-party support when it came to managing hybrid cloud environments.

Simon Healy, EMEA financial services industry director at Unisys, commented: “Our findings show that the majority of organisations that are meeting their expectations with the cloud are the ones that have combined a strategic approach with the expertise of a third party.

"To really reap the full benefits of the cloud, financial institutions need to commit with a considered approach, ensuring best practice supported by a robust methodology, and specialist support that they might not have in house.”

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