Businesses seeking a competitive advantage are no strangers to fast-paced environments, which can make the adoption of new systems and technologies a challenge when conflicting priorities arise.
Yet the volume of businesses having migrated, or seeking to migrate to the cloud continues to rocket. Over 90% of businesses now have at least one application in the cloud and almost all of these organisations are able to realise the benefits of using cloud, such as security and scalability.
In research conducted by Google, it found that the vast majority (88%) of companies that have adopted cloud-based systems believe it has helped to shape the direction of their business. Other benefits of cloud include changes in consumer behaviour and expectations towards their organisation, enhanced operational resilience and supporting the creation of innovative new products and services.
When speaking to our own customers, it’s the ability to scale outputs in real time that’s a major driver for using the cloud. It boosts innovation, supports new business models, and accelerate time-to-market. The demand for actionable data in real time and the ability to implement technologies such as artificial intelligence is growing every day, as companies seek new ways to innovative and stay ahead of their competition.
With the digital transformation journey, some sectors are ahead of others, and the industry that historically lagged behind the others in migrating to cloud has been financial services. But that tide has certainly started to turn. We’re now seeing mass-adoption of cloud software across financial institutions and they are increasingly finding innovative new ways of using the data and intelligence they’re able to gather from being in the cloud.
To really understand the impact cloud infrastructure is having on the financial services industry, we conducted our own research where we spoke to both small and large banks. A staggering 95% of banking executives we questioned told us that speed to market is a major driver for embracing the cloud. A further 86% of banks have chosen the cloud for its unlimited opportunities for scale, meanwhile 81% of respondents chose the cloud to optimise costs.
What’s apparent is that cloud infrastructure has fully embedded itself into the everyday working practices of banks and this willingness to adopt new technology is being highlighted in some of the trends we’re seeing across the whole sector.
The way consumers make purchases and organise transactions has changed, with a clear transition away from the use of physical money and toward digital payment methods. Meanwhile, the use of contactless, credit cards, open banking and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) systems have made transactions far more efficient for the consumer, leading to an influx of challenger brands entering the market over the past decade. This has meant the more traditional players in the industry have had to adapt quickly, and the cloud has enabled many organisations to do that.
A trend that we’ve seen increasing at pace across all sectors, including financial services, is a move towards multi-cloud systems. Over the years, cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure have continued to release new services and platforms, making the business case for staying with one cloud provider harder to make. More than two thirds of the bankers we spoke to agree with this, citing the importance of multi-cloud systems for their IT strategies.
It is clear from the conversations we’ve had with customers, and from trends in the market, that embracing cloud technology has become commonplace in all businesses, including the sectors that have historically been slow to embrace it. The cloud is no longer just a tool that improves file storage, but a way of supporting wider business objectives and goals, and a pathway to implementing more nascent technologies such machine learning and artificial intelligence.
It is now recognised that a failure to adopt the cloud could see institutions losing out to their competitors who are poised to exploit the competitive advantage – thereby risking time, money, and the possibility of losing clients in the process.