This episode of our Happy Hour series highlights the features and benefits Azure offers financial institutions. Allen and Phillip, both Managing Consultants for our Data & AI practice, discuss the growing need for multi-level security, governance, cost management, scalability and other advantages that Azure has to offer the financial services industry. Enjoy!
P: Hello everybody, my name is Philip, I’m a Managing Consultant with Catapult Systems.
A: And hello everyone, my name is Allen Ellison and I’m a Managing Consultant with Catapult Systems.
P: Today, Allen and I are here to talk about Azure cloud in the financial services industry. Financial services industries are really starting to take note of the growing need for security, cost, storage space, scalability, compliance and convenience … we can go on and on about the advantages of cloud computing in general. There was a recent study, by PriceWaterhouse, that showed that 71% of bank executives plan to invest more in cloud computing. That’s nearly 4 times higher than the previous year alone, Allen can you gives us some insights as to why we are seeing that trend?
A: At the very top of the list is definitely Security … Regulators expect financial institutions to maintain a strong data and cybersecurity environments. When we look at some of the features of Azure services, Azure offers multilayered security protocols, scans and audits for various threat assessment. Risk management is required by financial services to have a very robust process that includes monitoring and responses to inevitable risk. Azure offers several governance and traceability tools to assist with this.
P: Those are all great things. One of the items that has been brought up: cost cutting is another reason for migrating, what are some examples of how financial industries save money moving to Azure?
A: For starters, there is a significant reduction in employee resource demand due to the various services offered within Azure, or shared risk, but we typically see greatly reduced cost of not having to continually upgrade hardware. When we purchase hardware, it’s a flat purchase that does not give the ability to reduce cost when the demand for resources are decreased.
P: That interesting, how does Azure help with data storage as needs change?
A: That’s probably one of the most substantial benefits of moving to Azure. Financial industries typically have a ton of data. Between cards, online payments, transfers, etc., they generate millions of transactions that add up quickly. Retention of various data types varies heavily. Some data should NEVER be deleted, and some may only need to be kept for 10 years, 7 years or even shorter. The cost of storage should be far lower than on-prem storage and clients only pay for what is being used at that time and scalable when the need arises.
P: You mentioned scalability is listed as one of the top advantages for moving to Azure, can you tell us more about that?
A: When we talk about scalability, Azure is tough to beat. You need more storage, more power, more resources in general, then a few clicks later and you can increase it. Need less, then a few clicks and both the resource demands and cost are lowered. This is a large advantage that not only banking and financial industries can use, but all companies.
P: You know it’s interesting that you talk about all companies. Looking into the financial industry, there is a broad spectrum of focuses. From different regulators, to different financial industries. It comes with a lot of compliance standards, what can Azure do to help their customers with this?
A: Compliance is a huge topic, but when we look at some of the services, Azure actually helps in many ways. This shared responsibility graph shows how risk management can be assisted by using various cloud services. When we are all on-prem, we must manage all responsibilities ourselves. IT can be very time consuming and very difficult. As we move into various service models, the risk is shared due to the technologies that are already built into Azure.
P: With all the changes that a financial institution would go to for moving from on-prem to Azure, what’s the impact to the employees, will everything be the same?
A: It’s definitely not going to be the same. We have gotten to the point where mobility is a great advantage of all cloud technologies. Various tools can be replicated or moved to be region specific. We are talking anywhere in the world. This is very difficult and expensive to do with on-prem technologies and hardware. Since not all work is done in the office any longer, mobility has become absolutely crucial. We need our data all of the time from wherever we are in order to be as efficient as possible. Anything less in today’s time projects basically an “unprepared” persona. When we have all the data available whether directly or through our various applications, that we can access securely, it a great time saver and a more efficient way to do business in general.
P: There is many other topics and I know that we will be covering some more. I want to thank you for your time. Thanks for watching this blog. Data estate modernization is next.