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Cloud Migration for Financial Services Organisations – What’s the best approach?


By Rachel Mcelroy, Marketing Director at Cloud Gateway

Financial Services Organisations, such as banks, insurance firms, and accounting firms, are not new to cloud infrastructure and services. In fact, adoption of cloud is increasing within the industry, much due to the pace at which technology advances, and all sorts of as-a-service products, tools and technologies– meaning businesses will generally rely on at least one cloud service provider to guide their transformation goals. 

However, the ongoing nature of digital has meant that, like other industries, the finance sector has been active in developing new digital initiatives that successfully fulfil increasing demand, whether that be from clients or compliance with FCA policies. There is never truly a moment to pause or reach the end of a project. For digital transformation, the process remains ‘on’ and in a state of optimising to ensure it is up-to-date and as effective as possible.

Cloud migration is not without its risks and worries, yet there are ways to ease or even prevent these with the likes of a multi-cloud approach and a solid digital foundation. 

Securing your ecosystem

When establishing new projects to progress digital transformation journeys, placing data in the cloud is a common first move. Even in those instances which don’t seem highly technical on the surface, such as mobile banking or working from home. Nonetheless, the aim is always to meet industry standards, improve the resilience of operations, and develop financial services so that they effectively meet customer needs – all of which a robust cloud infrastructure helps ensure.

As a frequent target of cyberattacks, financial services are understandably hesitant about moving their data from on premise to the cloud. However, cloud infrastructures have been designed with extra touch points through external internet connections and private clouds, which multiply when approached from a hybrid way.

The security boundaries implemented between the cloud service and the organisation’s network can vary between service providers, so it is important to understand the conditions for each one. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions can provide an answer to this, by allowing organisations to get a holistic view of their ecosystem, and securely connect to a variety of cloud providers with workloads that are easy to move between. 

Easing the process for time and money savings

A key driver for organisations moving over to the cloud is, of course, to save money. Additional fees for add-ons can pop up, serving as a nasty surprise when looking at the bill, whilst being committed in a big contract with the more traditional service providers can feel hard to escape. In many instances, trying to adapt your infrastructure can be met with more expenses and interruptions to operations, so remaining flexible by adopting a hybrid cloud approach can ensure that your organisation retains control over transformation. 

Yet, we acknowledge there is a stressful element to managing multiple vendors; a solution underlying all of this can increase the visibility of your ecosystem and even reduce the number of vendors managed. SASE, for example, provides a digital foundation for which to begin your cloud migration, allowing you to start small and scale up – the pace is up to you. By having more control over your transformation strategies, you can clearly get a picture of what works best and have that flexibility to change in order to remain cost-effective and relevant to your targets.

Smoothing the migration is also essential for many organisations, especially as they involve shifting workloads to meet their increased digital goals. But when these often-large workloads are put into a single cloud provider environment, it risks being overfilled. This can potentially lead to compromising on the speed, scale and most importantly, security, of the environment. Organisations need the flexibility and power to decide what data goes where – whether it stays on-premise or in the cloud. SASE solutions can allow for this multi-cloud, hybrid approach, swiftly deploying these in an agnostic fashion and bringing an extra layer of protection in any future vendor issues. 

Migration complete – where next?

Once the task of migration is complete, there is the looming pressure of maintaining performance and availability standards – or, even, exceeding them. There is a risk of downtime during or after transferring workloads, so organisations must be aware of how this may impact customer experience, as well as their own company’s reputation. Hybrid cloud models reduce this risk by letting an organisation choose a risk profile that best suits them, made up of a variety of combinations from one vendor to a mix of on-premises and private cloud. 

A SASE solution can further ensure security and agility by making sure organisations remain aware of all components in the migration, reducing complexity and risk, as well as extending performance. Furthermore, it can help financial organisations to be reactive as possible as the landscape of working becomes more remote, by offering secure remote access to hybrid workforces

It is clear that for financial organisations, successful cloud migration involves the ability to monitor and visualise the full process to identify potential risks and address them. Hybrid and multi cloud strategies can be facilitated in a way that acknowledges and executes security policies, quickly deploying and managing connections no matter how many cloud providers are involved, all whilst reducing cost and scaling cloud environments. 


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