The financial sector – banking on the cloud

Technology is helping high-street banks to better meet the needs of British consumers, and the cloud is at the forefront.

Economic optimism may be increasing in the UK but most businesses are, by nature, still trying to save money wherever possible. For many, this drive to cut costs has technology at its heart, with the cloud proving particularly popular. Organisations in the banking sector are definitely no exception if data released this week is anything to go by.

According to research from Temenos Group, a Swiss firm which specialises in providing software for financial service companies, two-thirds of banks think they’ll spend more on IT in 2014. More interestingly than this, though, 86 per cent of those asked said they run at least one application in the cloud.  This figure stood at 57 per cent just five years ago.

Why so much growth?

Most businesses are required to adapt to their customers’ needs, but the pressure on banks is particularly high at the moment. Younger customers simply aren’t interested in handling their money in the same way the generations before them did. Now, things have to be more convenient, and this convenience has to be fuelled by technology just as it is in every other area of modern life.

There’s also the competition to consider. An increase in popularity of web-based services like eBay’s PayPal and Google Wallet shows that having a physical presence isn’t compulsory when the right infrastructure is in place.

Infrastructure is the key part of that last sentence; it’s impossible for banks to adapt to the huge changes going on in consumers’ lives without replacing the legacy systems that have been serving them for so long already. Once this has been accepted, there’s one obvious way forward…

The cloud makes the shift ten times easier than it would’ve been in the past, largely because of its flexibility. It allows firms to harness the power of data and IT as a whole without them having to put all of their budgetary eggs into one basket.

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