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Drew Firment

By Drew Firment, Vice President of Enterprise Strategies at Pluralsight

The finance industry is on its way through a digital transformation journey, with high-street banks looking to modernise in order to compete with digital challengers. The cloud has an important role to play in achieving this. It supports greater scalability as developers can build bigger systems faster and more easily than before, and with technology like zero-trust verification, it can also enhance security and protect banks against cyber threats.

The cloud can offer increased compliance with legislation and more effective data management too, which is particularly vital for an industry that processes and stores vast amounts of sensitive information every day.

As a result, the cloud has become an important tool to help the banking and finance industry boost revenue, enhance productivity and stay competitive. In fact, 100% of financial services companies that have migrated to the cloud saw the benefits after only 6 months.

Increasing productivity and scaling with the cloud

Software is defined as anything that makes a piece of hardware perform a function. It can be very programmatic – which means it requires specialised and complicated programming languages. In fact, developers need between 4 and 9 months to create a piece of software.

But as the finance industry is looking to digitally transform at pace, and bring new services to market for customers, developers need to create efficient programs quickly, and cut down this timeline where possible.

The cloud has a role to play here, as it gives access to a range of powerful tools that help build bigger systems faster and more easily than before. With cloud, developers in the finance industry have the opportunity to create the infrastructure needed for a growing industry quickly, without having to build everything from scratch.

A good example is functions. The first thing most developers think of when they hear “serverless” is functions. But the functions running code are just a tiny piece of the puzzle. Serverless technology allows development teams to hand off as much work as they can to cloud platforms like Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Developers no longer have to write their own code as the building blocks already exist in their cloud platform. Take, for example, Azure’s Durable Functions feature. This feature manages workflows so teams don’t need to explicitly create, store, and retrieve the progress through the data’s workflow in some other place. This process is so common to the systems that teams build that the cloud providers made it available without needing developers to write lines of code.

Securing the business, and better managing data

Using cloud technology also allows for better data management and  security standards. With a cloud-based system, finance organisations can ensure that sensitive data is encrypted, and is protected in a more robust and powerful way than on-premises data storage. For example, with consistent security updates, AI tools like algorithms and built-in firewalls ensure the vast amount of data held by finance organisations and accessed daily is as secure as possible from cyber criminals.

Cloud technology helps financial services companies be more competitive

As cloud computing makes it easier for developers to create software quickly, it also frees up time to focus on the quality of the product rather than just the delivery. Developers no longer need to think about when they will deliver the product; instead they can simply dedicate time to determining how to make the end product as effective as possible, and adapt to customers’ evolving needs.

Having more time to work on improving quality gives businesses an important competitive advantage. At the same time, it doesn’t incur additional costs because cloud technology enables developers to simply better allocate their time between technical tasks and strategic tasks.

For example, after migrating to the cloud, Deutsche Bank was able to save time on software development, and focus more on developing a strategy to improve the design and quality of their financial services offering as a result.

The use of advanced AI and data analytics tools helped the bank better manage and understand data in order to adapt to trends, and be more flexible and better respond to client needs. As a result, adopting cloud technology allowed Deutsche Bank to improve resilience, deliver better financial services to customers quickly, save costs, and eventually become more competitive.

With cloud computing and the robust infrastructure it creates, financial services companies can scale more rapidly and continue to deliver quality services and experiences for customers. In particular, businesses are more productive and competitive because of the ability to scale more easily and deliver products faster, while also maintaining better security and data management capabilities.

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