Digitalisation & Disruption

How banks can utilise the innovative power of the cloud

3 minutes to read
With insights from...

  • An increasing number of banks are embarking on the "Journey to the Cloud"

  • The cloud offers great potential to respond to new competitors

  • In order to gain experience, it makes sense to quickly implement a first use case in the cloud

The competitive pressure from new rivals in the financial sector is gradually rising. For established companies, the potential of the cloud offers a way to respond accordingly.

Rapidly growing FinTechs are challenging established players in the financial sector. They can quickly create new customer experiences to awaken new demand among end customers. In the process, FinTechs profit substantially from ‘exponential technologies’ such as the cloud and artificial intelligence, which lead to drastic reductions in time to market and greater business agility. The pay-as-you-go billing models of the cloud also enable FinTech start-ups to access the latest technology without prior investment, a development commonly referred to as the ‘democratisation of technology’.

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This in turn sets a new benchmark for established financial companies; even cantonal banks are following in the footsteps of major Swiss banks on the ‘journey to the cloud’. However, established companies with an existing IT infrastructure and application landscape face several challenges compared to FinTechs that are starting from scratch. The existing IT landscape and organisation have to undergo a transformation and business continuity needs to be secured.

Implementing the first use case in the cloud

Experience has shown us that one method of quickly gaining experience with the potential of the new technology is by rapidly implementing a first use case in the cloud after defining the strategic foundation in a corresponding cloud strategy. The important thing here is end-to-end implementation, resulting in findings on dealing with challenging issues such as data security. The physical nature of the cloud is, after all, essentially different from the on-premise world.

Let’s illustrate this using the example of a real-life project. A global insurance company produces quarterly reports dealing with highly sensitive insurance data. Large data sets from numerous business units have to be gathered, prepared, reviewed and aggregated all within a short period of time. The current Excel-based solution is reaching its limits and increasingly overloading the department responsible for the reports. The process is sluggish, complex and expensive, the quality of the data unsatisfactory.

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To boost process efficiency and data quality, the company puts together a new, public cloud-based solution within a few months. This has a scaling effect and thanks to the use of a private PaaS approach, data security is ensured. The new solution enables processing time for a region to be reduced by a factor of 10. Geo-redundancy ensures a high degree of reliability and the elasticity of the cloud reduces the operating costs between quarterly reports to a minimum. New user guidance also substantially increases data quality. For the company itself, this digital platform lays the groundwork for further innovations.

Further possibilities through artificial intelligence and industry clouds

While this use case may seem simple at first glance, we haven’t even touched on the potential around this data – through the use of cloud-based AI services, for instance. The services offered on the cloud platforms are becoming more sophisticated all the time and we are seeing a trend towards what are known as industry clouds. These will set the stage for services tailored to the financial sector and which can be obtained from the cloud ecosystem. Anyone who gets in now stands to benefit. Even established companies should be setting off on the ‘journey to the cloud’.

Contact person for Switzerland

Jürg Borter

Chief of Cloud

Jürg Borter is Chief of Cloud and thus responsible for everything on offer around the "Journey to the Cloud". He is fascinated by the daily growing innovation potential of Cloud and the resulting opportunities for companies. As an IT engineer, he can draw on several years of experience in large software implementation projects.

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