COVID-19 has removed all doubts a financial institution may have had about the industry’s future. The growing need to continue economic activity in the financial services industry despite the lockdowns and quarantines has led to the rapid adoption of new digital services such as cashless transactions, digital wealth & asset management, and online trading. As a result, financial services enterprises with a digital edge are leading the way. In fact, digital capabilities have become the key differentiator in the financial services industry during these difficult times.
In this regard, fintech companies have a distinct advantage as they have been much ahead in their digital transformation journey compared to others. They have been able to better fulfil their customers’ rising demands for quick and convenient products and services. Meeting these needs has solidified their position, but traditional financial institutions are rapidly catching up. Financial services businesses are quickly realizing the need to evolve their legacy operations and embrace modern applications to not only survive but thrive during this pandemic.
No More Tables and Counters for Financial Services
To stay relevant and ensure business continuity, financial services organizations need to be adaptable, agile, and ready to enable innovation across every business function. To put it simply, financial services enterprises need to focus their innovation from their offices into their customers’ hands, homes, and devices. Personalized experiences and on-demand services are now a necessary minimum for businesses seeking to attract and retain customers. For traditional enterprises, this requires major changes in their business models and a mass modernization of their core applications.
Along with this leap forward, financial services enterprises must also manage the ever-changing task of adhering to regulatory obligations and mitigate their cyber vulnerabilities. This latter goal is of critical importance. The damage caused by cyber threats to financial institutions has been severe and has only risen over the past few years. The case in point is the story of a banking and financial institution in America where over 100 million sensitive records were compromised. In fact, in 2019 alone, over 60 percent of all cyber breaches were reported by financial services organizations.
Modern financial services enterprises must establish a framework that enables a scalable, agile, and secured digital business environment going forward. In such an IT environment, different technologies can help secure workloads and applications movement, ensure regulatory compliance, and control all the data and intellectual property. Typically, financial institutions are moving toward cloud transformation and choosing a hybrid, multi-cloud environment for their needs, and leveraging both public and private cloud solutions to manage their applications, data, and services.
Hybrid Multi-Cloud: A Financial Services Imperative
A hybrid multi-cloud environment provides organizations with the opportunity to strategically use the scalability and efficiency benefits of the public cloud, with the security of the private cloud environment. But the choice of technology, infrastructure, and configuration is critical in ensuring productivity, optimized processes, and cost concerns amid public and private cloud. This is where IBM Cloud serves as an ideal public cloud service that is designed specifically to address all the concerns of a financial enterprise.
The IBM Cloud for Financial Services is a pioneering offering, built to address the key factors impacting the industry, such as robust security, regulatory compliance, and business resilience. Its unique feature includes its core policy framework that comes with the public cloud platform. The framework supports regulatory workloads and provides the platform with proactive and automated security features using industry-leading encryption services.
IBM Cloud for Financial Services is setting a higher standard for risk management, data protection, and continuous compliance. The solution simplifies the work of teams and enables them to focus on delivering innovative products and improved services to their customers. The service is able to addresses the complexities of data handling, security, compliance, and resilience in a three-pronged manner:
- It offers multiple ISV and SaaS service deployment options, such as Red Hat OpenShift and VMware. These are a common staple used by financial institutions and are compliant with the policy framework. This helps organizations customize the applications according to their business needs.
- It enables the easy adoption of the policy framework with IBM Promontory to continuously enable changing regulatory norms. This reduces the cost and time spent by enterprises on demonstrating their compliance audits.
- It deploys a shared-responsibility model within its policy framework, which implements all the essential controls and management best practices to ensure consistency and data protection. This helps financial institutions scale their business confidently and rapidly.
Maximizing IBM Cloud Benefits with the Right Strategies
Organizations have often failed to realize the expected ROI from their public and private cloud solutions, cloud migrations, and cloud deployments. And this is usually due to the lack of the availability of the right talent or their inability to execute and deliver the right strategies for cloud migration and cloud deployments. It may also be due to the ineffective implementation of change management strategies. But a favorable means to resolve and address these challenges in cloud solutions is to partner with a global systems integrator. HCL is exactly such a partner.
Financial services organizations can take advantage of HCL’s expertise and experience in driving their cloud transformation journeys to new highs. The dedicated HCL-IBM Ecosystem Business Unit aims at delivering all the managed service capabilities necessary for a financial institutions’ modernization—from integrating applications and orchestrating routine tasks for automation, to even implementing advanced cognitive capabilities into the platform.
HCL helps organizations sail through the unchartered waters of digital transformation comfortably, and deliver new business value by:
- Seamlessly integrating cloud into core business processes, enabling easy customization of cloud controls, and offering test OS across configurations.
- Integrating IBM Cloud Paks solution to help organizations establish a resilient platform with fortified security, accelerating cloud migration for complex and business-critical workloads.
- Offering managed mainframe services and solutions that allow enterprises to implement automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and data solutions into their core infrastructure with the best possible security.
- Leveraging data strategy services to help organizations implement the right data handling methodologies that maximize gains from their burgeoning data.
- Enabling resiliency orchestration to help enterprises automate their disaster recovery, stabilize systems, and mitigate cyber damage.
- Simplifying IBM solutions deployment with OPTIMIZE-I (IBM I AS/400) service.
- Leveraging the HCL Cloud Native Labs that helps organizations assess deployment feasibility, enhance capabilities to innovate products and solutions, and empower the teams with cutting-edge technologies.
- Deploying cybersecurity and GRC services that ensure security across multiple layers of enterprise infrastructure with proactive threat detection.
- Supporting customer needs with a contact center solution for optimal customer service experience powered by platform modernization, response automation, and analytics-based hyper-personalization.
At the core, HCL is the technology partner of choice that helps financial institutions get the best out of their cloud transformation investments. The HCL partnership allows enterprises to adopt cloud solutions with a more unified delivery plan that is driven by a deeper understanding of IBM products and solutions. For financial services that wish to leapfrog their digital journey and achieve higher results from their cloud investment, IBM Cloud is the path forward, and HCL—the guide that can help you reach the future, today.