Financial sector facing shift in attitude towards the cloud: Gartner

A rapid shift in attitude towards cloud banking is happening within the financial services (FS) industry, according to Gartner.

A Gartner survey found that the cloud is the top priority for global FS CIOs and that 39% of those surveyed expect that more than half of all their transactions will be supported via cloud infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) by 2015, analysts said.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 44% of FS CIOs expect that more than half of all their institutions’ transactions will be supported via cloud infrastructure by 2015 and 33% of them expect that the majority of transactions will be processed via SaaS by 2015, Gartner analysts added.

“Early cloud adoption, especially in the FS sectors, may have been limited to non-core areas and proofs of concept, but it is set to go mainstream, moving the heart of the business, transaction origination and processing, into the cloud,” said Peter Redshaw, managing VP at Gartner. “Cloud banking should be innovative, dedicated to this industry and transformative.”

Analysts at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011, being held in Barcelona on November 7-10, will discuss the future for cloud banking, Gartner reported.

“Cloud banking has the ability to drive ‘creative destruction,’” added Redshaw. “As well as helping to improve or optimise an existing service or process, cloud banking can provide the wealth – or the freedom – to try completely new services and processes, such as reverse auctions and third-party core banking systems, maybe even running them in parallel. Successful new cloud services can displace the existing and dominant process for design, distribution or transacting in a disruptive way, rather than just incrementally improving them.”

Among the most attractive benefits of cloud banking is being able to deploy (in an economically feasible way) the “champion-challenger” model, according to Redshaw. “This adds a competitive dynamic to the way processes are improved and chosen. As banks progressively replace people in the value chain with algorithmic operations (AOs) to run processes and make decisions, their intellectual property increasingly resides in these algorithms. The value of people is not in running operations but in improving the AOs,” he added.

“Although the technology is still immature in many places, cloud is a top priority for banks that need to continue a long-term focus on efficiency and support the CEO’s growth strategy by becoming more flexible and agile to support new business models, new markets, new channels, and new products,” Redshaw concluded.

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