Embrace the cloud to stay competitive, says PwC

BY Matt Atkins

According to a new PwC report, modern day financial institutions face increasing demands on two fronts: the need to consolidate their data centres and increase business agility.

After the burst of M&A activity which followed the 2008 financial collapse, organisations have been left with an overlapping mix of data centre assets which must now be consolidated into a more cohesive whole. In addition, in a continually changing business environment, institutions are feeling the pressure to innovate and embrace new technology.

In light of these challenges, says the report, CIOs are increasingly turning to cloud technology to transform their technology infrastructure and deliver consistent service to their global customers. Of the respondents to PwC's survey, 71 percent said they would invest more in cloud technology – up 18 percent on the previous year. The adoption of private clouds offers institutions a chance to address their data consolidation needs, in turn boosting IT agility, according to PwC.

Embracing cloud technology offers numerous rewards. Using the cloud, leading institutions are able to: adapt more rapidly when entering new markets; improve IT services to business units, enabling units to better serve their customers; and improve the consistency of service to customers worldwide, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. The cloud also allows institutions to cope with the changing demands of software development lifecycles and technology change programs.

Security concerns remain a major consideration in cloud adoption. By its very nature, the cloud forces IT services to pay closer attention to potential risks in the strategic planning and implementation of data centres. However, while 46 percent of respondents reported their organisation uses cloud services, only 18 percent of financial organisations included provisions for the cloud in their security profile.

Moving to the cloud is a complex process, says PwC, and cloud strategy should be developed with the input of top management across the company. But when an institution strategically implements a private cloud solution, it can help the overall objectives of the organisation, as well as its IT goals.

Report: FS viewpoint: Clouds in the Forecast

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