BFSI VISION Cloud Computing


Harnath Babu

Chief Information Officer, Avivaindia

Cloud computing- Effectivity, challenges and priorities

Cloud as a catchphrase is taking stride in the technology world at a rapid pace and a large number of organizations are moving towards adopting it to get the desired value it offers. IT functions of financial services firms too are equally being challenged and are forced to change the way- the applications, information, compute and storage are being deployed and used. Financial services also being a mix of opportunity and challenges, including need of growth in competitive market and tougher operating margins are finding new ways to increase agility, efficiency, cost effectiveness and responsiveness. Cloud computing as an enabler of innovation and catalyst for change plays a major role in helping companies to reinvent business and operating models. Many banking and financial services firms are closely examining cloud-based IT solutions for fitment and several major technology services providers are creating cloud computing systems that are aimed specifically at financial services firms. With increased adoption of cloud it has become easy to deliver IT in a simplified manner. Applications, IT services and infrastructure can be provisioned in minutes. Users are being provided with integrated experience anytime, anywhere by any means to connect, communicate, collaborate and execute business. Companies are ramping up the compute infrastructure during peak seasons of business and release them when not required. This is being made possible by leveraging cloud infrastructure. Also instead of investing in active setup for Data Center and DR site companies are using on demand cloud infrastructure in active-standby mode thus reducing the expenses related to management of duplicate infrastructure. There exists many more use cases where companies are leveraging the power of Cloud to become nimble and gain competitive advantage.


While Cloud computing provides enormous amount of flexibility and advantage to business, it also comes with a bouquet of challenges in terms of security, data privacy, compliance, availability and lack of standards. Despite the advancements in cloud technologies in recent years companies are apprehensive about their data being compromised in public cloud. Financial services operate in a highly regulated environment and any compromise of customer data could have implications, penal actions lead to a bombardments of lawsuits from customers. There are concerns among IT functions about availability of applications deployed on a cloud and vendor lock-in. On contractual disagreements, if the cloud provider unilaterally takes down the application then the business can suffer a greater loss. Also there could be technical outages, which are beyond the control of the companies. Most cloud providers provide access to cloud infrastructure using proprietary APIs or tools. If the company decides to move to a different provider then there could be higher costs of switching and this negates the idea of using cloud.


Financial services companies are looking forward for reduction of cost across the board and are optimizing resources and key business processes. With perceived cost savings, ease of scaling (in & out) , faster time to market , enterprise technology standardization and the ability to access applications and data on the move makes it critical for companies to adopt cloud computing.