Cloud banking viability: What are the possibilities?

UPDATE!

Here are some highlights from  Cloud Banking Europe when we asked participants “How do you see future banks?”

 

Sergejs

 Sergejs Kravcenko, from Norvik Banka

Neil

Neil Cattermull, from ComparetheCloud.net

Mori

                                                                                                                            Mori Tehrani, from Barclays 

Herwig

Herwig Thyssens from Deloitte 

Nigel

Nigel Shepherd from CipherCloud

Claire

Claire Olayomi from GE Capital

Luke

                                                                                       Luke Scanlon from Pinsent Masons

Rogier

                                                                                  Rogier Van Royen from Unicredit 

 

Cloud Banking Europe kicked off with an opportunity to grab a quick coffee and chat with some friendly faces, before getting up on stage to take part in the keynote panel discussion: ‘Cloud banking viability’. A crack panel assembled beside me, bringing a deep and varied range of perspectives into a fascinating, honest and positive conversation on the possibilities cloud brings to banking and financial services.

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Sketchnote of some highlights from the panel discussion

I was delighted by the innovative and customer-centric thinking of Carles Abarca, CIO of Spain’s Banco Sabadell. He talked candidly about the wants and needs of their customers and how, as an organisation, they make sure these demands are being treated as the key priority. “None of our customers care about cloud, yet it’s transforming the services they expect,” he revealed, adding “It’s about showing you know your customers, regardless of the channel. It’s about service.”

We also talked about bucking the trend of doing cloud for the sake of cloud. Nuno Godinho, Software CTO of GE Healthcare and an ex-FS CIO, put it brilliantly with: “Cloud isn’t about being cool, it is about reinventing the things we do.” This focus on innovation and customer experience is absolutely in tune with Fujitsu’s vision for technology and reinforces where we believe we need to be going on our Hybrid IT journey with banks.

Diaz then raised the topic of ‘cloudability’, one that I was happy to respond to emphasising that “Everything is ‘cloudable’, but the business case must guide timing and priorities.” Carles and Nuno strongly agreed; and that’s why we need Hybrid IT. There is no one size fits all and every case for cloud adoption must consider the individual needs, challenges and goals of that particular organisation.

In many cases, a total rip and replace of heritage infrastructure and process – a wholesale move to the cloud, if you will – simply isn’t the right answer. What is clear is that the cloud should be the default choice for all new deployments and innovation.

When it comes to embracing and enabling innovation that develops the business, responds to competitors and delivers remarkable service for customers, the cloud comes into its own.  “The agility of cloud is a powerful competitive differentiator,” said Andrew Bartlam of CipherCloud.

One such example of agility can be found in the increased speed of software product life cycles. “Lifecycles are a competitive advantage, faster cycles are delivered through cloud, said Carles, agreeing with Andrew.

In fact, during a live poll, run during the panel discussion, over 80% of the audience agreed that product testing cycles will be reduced through cloud-based applications.

It is worth emphasising that an important component of this is growing standardisation of applications, which allows for swift, continuous improvement. This not only brings huge benefits to testing within the business but also to customers through the way digital technology is rapidly evolving their everyday experience of financial services.

We can see this huge shift in the case of Banco Sabadell: Despite thousands of branches, over 80% of customer transactions are 100% online. Yet, surprisingly only last year our research financial services research found that more than three quarters of FS organisations are yet to embrace cloud technology. Which seemed counterintuitive, given we found the number one priority for FS organisations has shifted to improving customer service, with improving efficiency sitting at a close second. Perhaps our research coincided with a tipping point for cloud adoption.

It will be interesting to see which other organisations emerge as forerunners, responding the changing demands on the industry for the benefit of business and customer alike. It will be exciting to be part of a transformation where the possibilities are virtually endless!

 

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