The lure of cloud comes from its ability to give financial services organisations a competitive edge and is the reason for chief executive officers (CEOs), business leaders and board of directors being the main sponsor for 67% of cloud migration projects in this sector, according to a study by the UK-based managed cloud company Rackspace.
“This high level of buy-in for cloud is hugely significant as technology is increasingly being expected to drive financial services innovation,” the firm comments.
The findings are taken from a study by technology market researcher Vanson Bourne, which polled 500 UK IT and business decision-makers who have experienced or are planning a cloud migration project, of which 14% worked within the financial services/accountancy sector
Among other key findings from existing cloud users within the financial services and accountancy sectors, 66% of respondents stated that reducing IT costs served as their primary motivation for migrating to the cloud and 34% said that cloud migration was motivated by the need to accelerate innovation.
Rackspace comments that this apparently demonstrates the increasing pressures faced by financial services and accountancy business decision makers in order to challenge rapidly growing disruptors within an increasing digital economy.
It is coupled by an awareness of the security considerations/risks when migrating sensitive business-critical data, with 45% of respondents in the financial services sector opting to migrate this data in the first instance in comparison to the average of 58% of respondents in other sectors.
“Both consumers and business leaders are driving the demand to digitise online services onto cost-effective platforms which are available anywhere, at any time,” said Giri Fox, Rackspace’s director of technical services.
“Financial services organisations need to have a scalable IT infrastructure to satisfy these demands, while also having processes in place to protect sensitive customer data. The complexity of managing this technology is leading firms to look for help from outside expertise.”
Other findings from financial services/accountancy respondents which have already moved to the cloud include:
• Reducing IT costs was the biggest motivation for moving to the cloud (66%), followed by increasing resilience (55%), increasing agility (47%) and stabilising existing platforms/ applications (43%). A third (34%) of completed cloud migrations also aimed to accelerate innovation, conceivably to keep up with new digital disruptors in the sector.
• Nearly half (45%) of respondents said their organisations migrated business-critical data to the cloud first – this is a more cautious approach than other sectors which averaged 58% migrating business-critical data to the cloud first.
• Sixty-four per cent of respondents migrated to a private cloud, 30% to a public cloud and 32% to a hybrid cloud.
• With just 30% of respondents having a good experience in operating a cloud environment themselves, more than half (57%) turned to a third party supplier.
• Nearly all (98%) respondents said their organisation’s business goals were met to some extent by their migration to the cloud, higher than the average of 88% across all industries.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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