How the cloud is being used in financial services

When you hear the term ‘the cloud’ it’s easy to think of Apple, the free wifi that never quite seems to work, or the british ‘summer’ we just had – but for finance professionals it means so much more.


The cloud or cloud computing simply refers to servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more – over the Internet – aka “the cloud”.


You’re probably more familiar with the cloud than you’re aware, as it’s used by a multitude of services such as email providers, streaming films and online storage such as Dropbox.

Why does it matter to the financial services?


Financial services (FS) in the UK and across Ireland are facing increasing pressures from both customers and shareholders.


Rising demands from customers can make for a backlog of tasks, which then impacts the ability to focus on customer service and interaction. There are increasing pressures for financial services to adapt to the technological advancements that unite customer needs and digitalisation in order to reinvent business models.


It’s been argued that the cloud is the biggest phenomenon to enterprises since the introduction of the PC. With adoption rates rising to 84%, the cloud is seen as a way to reduce cost and improve efficiency –  a no brainer for shareholders.

Cloud computing is already here


As mentioned above, cloud adoption rate stands at 84% in the UK. It’s been taken up by some big names in FS, such as Singapore’s DBS bank, partnering with Amazon web services to transform its business. The company plans to move all of it’s web assets to the Amazon Cloud, transforming its business, reaching scale and better serving its customers.


This service is also used by Spanish bank, Bankinter, who use AWS to run credit simulations. This process has been revolutionary for the bank, reducing computing times for the simulations from 23 hours to just 20 minutes.


Cloud technology also has many other functions, such as cloud accounting. Quickbooks use cloud accounting to access real time data – where employees have greater visibility, which aids collaborations.

How cloud computing is shaping the finance industry


According to the FCA, cloud outsourcing can help improve competition in the financial services sector – as improved choice and innovation delivers benefits for both organisations and it’s consumers.


However, there are some challenges that come with cloud computing, which includes; compliance, security, data privacy, availability and the absence of standards.


The finance industry is constantly evolving, as is cloud technology. When entering new roles in the finance industry you may be met with cloud technology more often than you anticipate. Hopefully this short introduction will help prepare you for this evolving industry and the technology that comes with it.