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The future of finance is mobile (and in the cloud)

The future of finance is mobile (and in the cloud)

By Larry Grant, Field CTO at Presidio The future of finance is mobile (and in the cloud)

Think about the last time you went to the bank. Chances are, if you’re like the 72% of Americans who prefer to use a mobile banking app, it’s been a few years. Despite this shift to mobile banking, nearly half (46%) of consumers are concerned about getting hacked, which is a customer experience issue that could be causing friction with your customers and lead to less transactions taking place via mobile banking.

To ensure the future of mobile banking, financial institutions must focus on delivering a seamless and secure user experience. Ultimately, this requires banks to become more digitally progressive and build consumer trust by implementing sound cybersecurity protocols, ditching legacy applications that are slowing mobile experiences and migrating to the cloud to further modernize infrastructure.

Below, we’ll outline how exactly banks can become more digitally progressive.

Strengthen Cybersecurity to Build Digital Trust

Without question, the first step in building customer trust is integrating security measures throughout the entire cyber environment. Cyberattacks on banks are on the rise, as research shows 63% of financial institutions experienced an attack in 2021. These attacks can have devastating consequences as the average cost of fixing a data breach is $5.72 million.

To help prevent and deal with cyberattacks, banks should invest in a strong cybersecurity posture. A full-scale cybersecurity structure should include managed detection and response, incident response, and threat and vulnerability management that identifies and alerts your systems to start eliminating threats.

Leveraging cloud native resources, we can go further to secure environments through micro segmentation practices. By limiting the blast radius of a potential breach, and developing a proper zero-trust solution, we can stop attackers at the edge, preventing breaches and protecting information.

In addition to deploying strong cybersecurity systems, all employees working directly with customer data should receive cybersecurity training so they understand the protocols for reporting a data breach and how to best manage customer data. Your employees are the first line of defense for customers and they share in the responsibility of keeping your customers’ data safe. This type of employee education should be continuous, where employees are updated and re-trained any time new protocols, updates and requirements are implemented.

Say Goodbye to Legacy Systems

While strong cybersecurity strategy is critical to building and maintaining customer trust, you must also create a sound mobile environment for customers to transact and conduct business; mobile banking experiences must function seamlessly with as few technical delays as possible.

And the best mobile experiences are built in the cloud.

However, despite being early adopters of cloud technology, many financial institutions still rely on outdated legacy systems to power their business. Relying on legacy systems to power mobile banking experiences not only causes user experiences issues, such as lags in load time or glitches, but it can also prevent banks from innovating or updating applications at scale. If legacy systems are in place, you could face interoperability issues when you try adding new software to your tech stack.

Now is the time to finally move off your legacy mainframe and retire your enterprise databases.  Modern cloud solutions leverage horizontal scalability to improve both performance and resiliency.  As applications are reimagined into micro-services, a monolithic database becomes a detriment.  Incorporating new data management solutions inclusive of SQL, NoSQL, Columnar, Graph, Object and more, introduces new options to streamline operations.  True adoption of DevSecOps, bringing the responsibility of new solutions closer to the developers to support, maintain, patch, and enhance.

Saying goodbye to legacy systems and modernizing your infrastructure can make it easier to deliver a solid customer experience and maintain a competitive edge. Most often, modernization starts with migrating to the cloud.

Leverage Cloud Technology to Modernize Your Infrastructure

Cloud technology allows you to design systems that are easily adaptable and expandable, so all transactions run smoothly. For companies who are migrating to the cloud, you’ll first need to consider the specific needs of your business and the investment you’re willing to make. This should include identifying where you currently are on your cloud journey, your goals for shifting to the cloud and what type of cloud technology you want to use (hybrid, on-prem, public, etc.).

While on premises private clouds can help to improve levels of automation, it is public cloud offerings that achieve new hyper-scale capabilities. This can be very significant as applications are redesigned to be more cloud native using more microservices and event-driven implementations. The ability to horizontal scale to burst on-demand as needed is critical to providing the best client experience. A fast, responsive, and self-healing mobile application builds customer confidence and increases brand loyalty.

Migrating legacy applications is usually the first step in adopting cloud services. There are important architecture differences to consider supporting new deployment methodologies, scaling, and patching. It’s helpful to have an outside vendor help you or your IT team evaluate each approach and help determine which solutions best fits your needs. Not all applications are equal and most often each solution needs to be customized to support the specific needs of both the application and the organization.

When it comes to remaining compliant, cloud technology provides you more flexibility to adapt and meet compliance standards as they change. In fact, more than half of IT professionals who work in the financial services space have found that cloud technology helps with compliance. For example, instead of a full overhaul of systems, cloud technology updates itself by implementing standards like ISO 27001 or SAS 70 to comply.

Additionally, the adoption of cloud technology makes integrating machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) into existing platforms easier. AI can be utilized to enhance functions across the banking journey, from backend applications to customer service. For instance, AI chatbots can help a customer navigate accounts online, log back in if they forgot their password and even upsell a new financial service. Conversely, on the backend, AI can help banks identify instances of fraud or suspicious activity. We are even seeing many financial institutions implementing AI/ML for market fund management. This can enable them to outperform the legacy money managers, adapt quickly to changes in the market and predict future trends more accurately.

While the mobile application is the conduit for clients to manage their portfolio, integration with modern omnichannel solutions is essential. The client’s experience needs to be seamless whether on a mobile device, tablet, PC/website, automated AI Bot, automated phone, human phone or in person.    Well integrated and modernized systems build more confidence and provides a better and seamless experience for a customer.

As the financial services industry becomes increasingly reliant on delivering exceptional mobile experiences, it must ditch legacy systems and embrace modern technologies such as the cloud to grow, innovate and serve customers.


Larry is currently a Field CTO, Cloud Advisor at Presidio, where he is providing customers guidance, mentoring and confidence building in their journey to the cloud. Previously Larry has been a VP, Chief Architect and Cloud Specialist at companies including Vanguard, VMware, EMC and Oracle. During Larry’s earlier career he was the VP of IT and Chief Technologist for a billion-dollar startup Talk America, also known as AOL Long Distance. In 2005 he was recognized with the InfoWorld Magazine’s Top 25 CTO’s and Oracle’s CTO of the Year awards. Larry has also received numerous President Club awards and other recognitions throughout his career.

 Larry is a gamer at heart, and develops games for PC, Xbox and PlayStation as a hobby.  Larry and his wife of 35 years have 3 grown adult children and a granddaughter.

Global Banking & Finance Review


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