By David Blesovsky, Chief Executive Officer at Cloudhelix
Although previously seen as slow to digitally transform, the financial sector is taking action. A report at the start of the year showed 60% of financial services businesses will use multi-cloud to architect their IT environments in the next two years.
Remaining agile is driving this change: 47% see this as the top driver for cloud adoption compared to 32% of businesses overall. Gaining market advantage with emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain means innovation and adaption. Financial services firms in partnership with Fintech companies are gaining ready-made customers and growth whilst avoiding getting left behind.
So, what is multi-cloud?
The term multi-cloud means using multiple platforms (which could be both public and private clouds) with separate providers for different workloads. Multi-cloud is unlike a hybrid cloud, which uses various platforms or hosting methods as one, singular cloud; in fact, you can use a hybrid cloud within a multi-cloud environment but not the other way round.
The reasons to host workloads on various cloud platforms and providers include compliance, control, innovation, cost and flexibility.
43% of the financial sector views multi-cloud environments as a means to meet regulatory needs. With industry compliance added to national and international data standards, ensuring you work with a provider who understands your specific needs is vital.
Hosting on a single cloud provider’s infrastructure could lead auditors to question your Disaster Recovery strategy: what is the plan if you experience an outage? Facilitating an active-active configuration across multiple cloud providers will deliver an answer to auditor questions, whilst making the most of the strongest services offered by each provider. Critical data can be held on the most suitable platform, whilst other infrastructure elements are run on another, to provide a solution that can handle almost any situation whilst also being cost-effective.
There are multiple threats to your business-critical systems – cyber-attack, natural disasters, nuclear war – resilience in the form of a multi-cloud strategy is a clear way to gain control.
This may involve additional labour to create a solution that can be deployed with consistency no matter the location, how it will allow you to leverage the needed services to ensure each business area has their critical functions securely served.
It can also lead to overall cost efficiency by using public cloud for large, low compliance workloads, whilst data with compliance and higher security needs are held on a private cloud, or development tests can be built on another set-up, etc. With more choice, there are greater options to grow or move elements of your business.
Innovation does not have to come at the cost of business needs. Although multi-cloud provides a way to move away from the lockdown on infrastructure and data solely within on-premise servers, for those who want or need to keep on-prem products, there is a way forward. The converged cloud stack brings the benefits of the cloud on-prem.
Acceptance of the continued role of on-prem has been seen in products like AWS Outposts, Amazon’s version of the Converged Cloud Stack, which bucks their historical trend of public cloud being the only future option. Used in the right way, where absolutely needed, on-prem has its place, and we’ve seen how it can be used within the financial sector.
Cost & flexibility
We understand the pain of getting locked in by a vendor, and although it’s something business owners shouldn’t have to deal with, it can happen easily when using a single cloud service. Whether getting trapped after introductory offers end, using incompatible technologies, or becoming reliant on older systems, processes or skills, you can break free.
Multi-cloud deployment, alongside working with a provider who only has allegiance to you, is the step towards minimising costs and gaining flexibility. Independent managed services will give you the opportunity to utilise different services across multiple platforms, whilst maintaining peace of mind of dealing with one go-to for your needs. Your business grows, you acquire new fintech solutions, and you adapt, keeping your competitive edge.
As managed cloud experts, Cloudhelix works with you to help technology assist with your most critical business objectives. We understand your firms’ needs and specialise in working with those looking to overhaul, take control or harness the power of the cloud.