We have seen during the course of this series of blog posts that the financial sector has, by and large, been slow to adopt cloud technologies. In this post, Colin Sweeney, VP Client Operations for Fenergo, looks at some of the challenges of implementing a cloud infrastructure and how to overcome them.
We have been speaking with our customers and our own Fenergo experts to understand the common challenges that IT teams at financial institutions (FIs) face when implementing cloud infrastructure.
One of the great advantages about cloud technology is that it presents lots of opportunities to bring together various technologies from different providers. Cloud infrastructure is a set of computing capabilities that enables firms to re-engineer their back-end architectures and put them in virtual environments where they can be accessed remotely, without the need for physical server hardware of their own.
Organizations should not underestimate the length of time it can take to implement a cloud infrastructure. Each system that’s being moved into the cloud needs to be judged on its own merits; there might be legacy systems or the organization might already have the existing infrastructure it needs and it makes sense to actually continue to use it for a period of time.
Risk & Security
For one Fenergo client, risk and security are among the biggest challenges they faced when migrating their financial organization towards a cloud environment.
“Ensuring that we had the right risk and security controls that are approved and agreed on from an enterprise perspective was essential,” our client CTO says. “It took time to get to that point and to make sure all parties are comfortable. That – along with our ability to roll out – affects the timeline.”
Moving production data into a cloud environment can be a security challenge both internally and externally, where security teams have strict Info Sec guidelines and they need to be able to prove that all the controls are in place.
It’s important that you understand and are on a good basis with the regulators to make sure that you can freely move your data when you need to. And again, it’s an activity that should be done up front, rather than waiting for two weeks before you want to go into production.
The technology that allow systems to run in a cloud environment has been around a long time. The bigger challenge for CTOs is often getting the business approvals to be able to do what they want to do with cloud technology.
“The kinds of things that we do in the cloud need to be enterprise-reviewed and enterprise-approved for use,” one Fenergo client explains. “So, not just the providers – or combination of providers – that we choose, but also the patterns that we use all take time to evolve at the enterprise level.”
These three key challenges – time, risk and security, and internal approval – are the main challenges Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) encounter when migrating to a cloud environment. They are not technology-related – that’s already there and proven – they’re cultural. But attitudes are changing at the top, which will speed up cloud adoption.
So, in general, we’re seeing that the tide is turning – we’re seeing senior executives are starting to champion the move to the cloud. But the reality is that it’s an education exercise. You need to make sure that the pros are highlighted, and that any perceived cons are dealt with early on in the process.
Are you facing challenges migrating to the cloud or would like to learn more about how cloud infrastructure could help your business?