Cloud technology keeping the financial wheels turning
The global pandemic is having an unprecedented impact across industries around the world. Remote working, in particular, has rapidly become the ‘new normal’ for workforces globally, enabling many employees to carry out their daily roles - albeit from their own homes.
As companies transition to remote working environments and increase their reliance on digital services and modern technology, fintech simply can't remain in stasis. To date, a large part of the industry’s lockdown-induced holding pattern stems from its reliance on outdated technology that can’t keep up with customers’ fast-evolving needs brought about by the pandemic’s impact.
Keeping services modern and accessible
It’s with this in mind the financial services industry should continue driving innovation to improve the cross-border transactions that are so key to keeping the wheels of the global economy turning. Notorious for being late to the game, fintech and banks need to recognize the importance - and urgency - of modernizing their offerings or risk falling behind at a time when their customers are relying on them most.
Fortunately, cloud-based solutions can help payments technology keep in-step with the remote workforce. For example, cloud removes the pain for financial institutions having to procure and maintain their own hardware, install and operate the software, and employ a dedicated team for 24/7 monitoring - an important factor in these socially distant times. On top of that, cloud technology enables the ability for these firms to update their systems remotely and regularly, removing the physical hurdles companies now face with on-prem management and ensuring faster upgrades to new features. Additional benefits include businesses’ cost savings on on-premise hardware and staffing costs to maintain those systems, as well as reduced cost of doing business by removing the need to maintain its own hardware and planning investment for scaling.
RippleNet Cloud is one such solution that has been particularly beneficial in helping businesses navigate the ‘new normal’ of working from home. RippleNet Cloud is delivered to customers as a service, allowing customers to connect to more than 300 financial institutions in Ripple's global blockchain payments network without the need to install on-premises software or onerous internal processes to procure new hardware and databases. It is also upgraded every three months, so updates and new features can be delivered quickly and reliably.
Maintaining a competitive advantage
Yet despite the obvious benefits of the cloud, many of the top global banks continue to fall behind in its adoption — missing out on its advantages to their business and the economy. Some of their reticence comes from the concern about moving customer-sensitive data to the cloud, but well-managed cloud infrastructure is equally as secure as on-premises. In fact, cloud-native software vendors subject themselves to regular external audits and have deep security expertise on their staff.
The need to modernize with solutions like cloud will supercharge the competitive advantage of innovative banks over their slower-moving rivals — now more than ever. The more agile and innovative players that are already using banking-as-a-service tech platforms to revolutionise their cost-to-serve and cost-to-change are ideally placed to easily and cheaply plug into emerging blockchain networks, AI engines and other generation-defining fintech capabilities. Incumbent and legacy banks who are still relying on ‘museum’ banking technology will be delayed in effectively tapping into this valuable innovation. What is more, the longer that big banks dally with implementing cloud processes, the more out of step they are with today’s customer expectations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined an already compelling use case for the cloud in our industry - and it will provide a lifeline for helping businesses and economies thrive and remain competitive in this new and challenging world of work. It’s important that key players across the fintech sector use this moment to bring their own services up to scratch to ensure they aren’t left behin
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.