A recent IBM study found that while other sectors are accelerating their digital transformation efforts post 2020, a mere 16% of the financial services industry has moved to the cloud.
Impeded by stringent regulations and entrenched legacy practices, financial services firms may also struggle to find the right cloud provider to meet their specific needs – one that understands the unique operating environment and compliance obligations surrounding privacy, data handling, and reporting.
If your financial services firm is yet to embark on your cloud journey (or have started but aren’t seeing the results you need), evaluating your options between public and private cloud and hybrid environments may feel like a minefield.
Ideally, you want to partner with experts who have a strong depth and breadth of knowledge in your sector and can help you make an informed decision that enables all the benefits of cloud without the risk.
Having a long roster of customers in highly regulated industries, including the financial services industry, we’ve worked with many organisations to help them transition to a secure cloud environment.
Here are 6 things we’ve learnt over the past 2 decades…
Compliance without compromise
Keep your business reputation sound with highly available data for regulated industries, and where data is a key competitive asset.
With this in mind, these features are non-negotiable:
- PCI compliance – meet governance and compliance needs
- 27001 certification – swap risk for peace of mind
- APRA prudential guidelines – free up time, talent and budgets
- GDPR aligned – best practice customer data management
One of the scariest aspects of moving to the cloud is placing your trust in another entity to keep the cogs turning. Especially when the impact of downtime to business operations can be felt in seconds, let alone if you’re left struggling without connectivity for hours. According to Gartner, the average cost of an hour of downtime to a business is well over $300k!
Only high-availability infrastructure can guarantee the level of uptime needed to reduce the risk to your business (and bottom line) of having your systems go down. Importantly, when disaster does strike, you also want to have world leading disaster recovery capabilities at your disposal so down time never becomes lost time.
At Harbour IT, we offer a hybrid cloud approach with our next generation private cloud which guarantees 99.999% availability, together with world leading public cloud Azure. This combination delivers end to end IT and business resiliency through advanced capabilities, such as:
- constant monitoring
- dual data centre replication (identical copies on multiple servers across different datacentres)
- a seamless ability to handle disparate workloads
- the ability to back up critical data across the board – including those held in applications such as Microsoft Office 365
While you may decide to start small when you first take the leap into cloud computing, there is the potential that this could change once you start to explore the full benefits that cloud can deliver.
Ideally, you want a cloud network that embodies high performance computing – capable of scaling up and down as your business experiences peaks and troughs of demand. This ensures your business has the agility needed to meet business and customer demands as they change[MJ1]. Essentially, it enables your IT strategy to align with broader business goals so technology is empowering your business to be more productive, competitive and profitable.
At Harbour IT, our high-performance hybrid environment (with access to your own Cloud Management Platform) allows for workloads to be managed between private and public environments – so you can ensure they are in the right location to deliver the right level of access, performance and protection. Our cloud services are also highly customisable so you only pay for what you need and use.
Built-in data security and 100% data integrity
Adding new systems in a highly regulated sector requires careful planning and a solid change management plan. You need to be assured that the solution you are moving to is fully equipped to handle the unique security and compliance requirements[RZ2] that affect your financial services business.
At Harbour IT, we know security and compliance is critical within the financial services sector. With an enviable portfolio of financial services clients, we have built-in security and compliance features as standard within our private Cloud Metro solution such as:
- data encryption in flight and at rest
- 24/7 biometric security
- file integrity monitoring
- vulnerability and pen testing
- DDOS protection
We’re also ISO 27001 compliant and align with industry standards including PCI, APRA and GDPR – and provide immutable storage for fixed data that can never be deleted, which is vital to meet always recoverable data needs, protect backups from new ransomware infections, and guarantee recovery from attack.
This allows you to achieve 100% data integrity – ensuring your company and customer data is protected and there’s never any doubt about its accuracy.
Transparent and predictable cost control
Moving workloads to the cloud change the balance sheet from capex to opex, and brings new cost challenges of managing consumption-based spending over fixed assets.
To eliminate overspend and improve cost predictability, transparency is key to ensure you only pay for what you need, when you need it – and are in control of your virtual resources so you know exactly what your spend is every month.
Provides Secure and Compliant Managed Services
Transitioning to the cloud shouldn’t require your business to retain expensive specialists. Nor should it take up all of your existing IT team’s time trying to manage it.
This is why it’s important to seek out a cloud provider who offers a secure and compliant managed service that can be tailored to the needs of your business. By doing this, you hand the stress and risk over to skilled experts – while your team is freed up to focus on driving innovation and achieving company goals.
At Harbour IT, we offer flexible managed services options that:
- are dedicated to ensuring your success
- take menial tasks off your hands so you can focus on more strategic IT
- place security and compliance at the forefront
- proactively minimise vulnerability
- ensure endpoints are always secure
Our managed services range from rapidly scaling IT support to vulnerability management as a service, backup as a service, disaster recovery as a service, and more.
Find a cloud solution that works for your business
Partner with a cloud services provider who understands the unique challenges you face, and can benchmark your current systems against competitors to accelerate your success.
We offer flexible and secure cloud solutions, including private cloud via our own Cloud Metro, as well as Azure public cloud. This allows you to create the ultimate hybrid environment which balances the power of cloud with the peace of mind, control, visibility and predictability you need within your IT environment.
Speak with us to find out how we have worked with other financial services companies to deploy fit-for-purpose solutions that have enabled rapid results and empowered innovation in a highly competitive marketplace.
To speak with a cloud specialist from Harbour IT, please contact us.