So far in this series, I have discussed the mounting challenges banks and financial services companies are facing today. I have also presented cloud as an essential element in the digital transformation of banks and financial services companies, reviewed the current status of cloud in financial services, and outlined the different options organizations have when choosing a path to the cloud.

To finish the series, I will use this post to discuss some key elements banks and financial services companies should consider to realize the tremendous benefits that a cloud-based approach to digital transformation can offer.

Now is not the time to wait and see

As I already mentioned, some banks and financial services companies remain hesitant to fully adopt cloud solutions. In addition to the security issues outlined in Post 3 of this series, other uncertainties around cloud remain.

Though many companies have made important investments in their legacy systems that have yet to be fully amortized, some firms may fear that migrating to the cloud could increase costs at a time of intense pressure to reduce costs. Others may worry that key applications are not “cloud ready” and may require significant modernization before they can be effectively migrated to the cloud.

Yet others have simply taken a wait-and-see approach, watching how competitors handle cloud challenges before committing to major changes.

But by waiting, banks and financial services companies may risk being left behind.

At Accenture, it is our position that the time for waiting is over. Cloud capabilities have evolved so rapidly that cloud can support any strategic direction taken, whether through a hybrid approach or via the public cloud.

Now is the time for a bold move to the cloud.

How banks and financial services companies should position themselves for maximum benefits

Financial services companies want to create new business models to deliver on their business goals and strategies. This means anticipating and/or responding to disruptive challenges.

To do this, organizations should undertake a shift in thinking—putting technology, rather than finance, at the core of the business, and seeing it as the foundation of profitable growth.

To capture cloud’s full potential, banks and financial services companies should consider several issues, including the following:

  • Transforming their operating and delivery models, clarifying requirements and governance issues, and establishing a comprehensive process.
  • Addressing regulatory and security issues related to full cloud adoption.
  • Developing an architecture and approach to cloud that meets all requirements, sets appropriate policies, and formalizes governance structures and processes, supported by appropriate architecture.

Elements of transformation

The benefits banks and financial services companies can potentially realize by adopting a cloud-based approach to digital transformation are tremendous. To reap maximum benefits, it is essential that senior management and the board have a clear understanding of what a cloud-based approach to digital transformation entails. Key elements include:

  • Rethinking company culture, with cloud as the foundation for an environment that encourages innovation and excellence, and strong, visible, top-down executive sponsorship.
  • Roadmap and migration planning, with clearly established priorities and steps, and a cloud architecture incorporating backup and redundancy features that addresses security and performance concerns and incorporates toolsets and processes to manage the cloud.
  • Transforming delivery, with a centralized, fact-based delivery program that incorporates development and operations (DevOps) and automation.
  • Designing a talent strategy, focused on attracting and retaining new types of talent and giving development teams what they need to innovate and deliver.
  • Taking a closer look at ecosystems, establishing strong relationships with key suppliers.

In conclusion, by using cloud as a business asset, banks and financial services companies have the opportunity to transform their enterprise at high speed. This transformation is accelerating and targeting central applications and core systems.

Banks and financial services companies focused on becoming digital players can reap significant benefits, but achieving this goal depends on a coherent cloud strategy which includes using cloud as a business asset.

With a comprehensive, enterprise-wide approach to cloud strategy, banks and financial services companies are well positioned to capture the full potential and power of the cloud.

And they can do so right now.

For further information, I encourage you to read the full Moving to the Cloud—Creating a Cloud-Based Strategy for Banks and Financial Services Companies in North America report.

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