Financial institutions face challenges from every corner, whether it\u2019s the scrutiny of regulators or the schemes of sophisticated cybercriminals determined to extort and steal. And if that wasn\u2019t enough, the financial services landscape is more competitive than ever, with agile newcomers working hard to poach valuable customers.\nConsequently, it\u2019s never been more important for financial services institutions to create new products and services faster, engage customers more effectively, and provide all of their associates \u2013 no matter where they are \u2013 with fast, safe access to the right information. IBM Cloud for Financial Services was designed to address these needs and more.\nWe recently connected with Dale Hoffman, director, offering management, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions, to learn more about the IBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads, the many factors driving financial institutions to the cloud, and how they can mitigate risk when migrating their workloads out of costly and increasingly vulnerable on-premises environments.\n\u201cFinancial institutions gain the ability to offer radically enhanced products and services faster and more effectively when they move to the cloud,\u201d says Hoffman. \u201cIn today\u2019s hyper-competitive environment, that\u2019s a strong motivator, but they must also never waver in their focus on the compliance and security requirements that are unique to highly regulated industries.\u201d\nThis is particularly apparent when looking at the considerations all financial institutions must address in a cloud migration. These include security and governance risks \u2013 including where the data will be housed \u2013 and compliance concerns around privacy and data access. Other factors include third- and fourth-party risk and disaster recovery.\nThe \u2018cost of remaining on-prem\u2019\nHoffman notes that among financial services companies it\u2019s not uncommon to see 75% to 80% of mission-critical workloads kept on-premises because of such concerns. He stresses, however, that not moving to the cloud isn\u2019t the answer.\n\u201cFinancial institutions need to consider the cost of remaining on-prem and the limited ability they will have to deliver new features to their clients,\u201d he says. \u201cThis is what motivated us to create a purpose-built cloud specifically for financial institutions that empowers them to remain highly competitive, compliant, and confident.\u201d\nIBM Cloud for Financial Services automates the security, compliance, and resiliency features financial institutions need. In addition to providing banks with a way to host their most important applications and workloads in the cloud securely, these institutions can take advantage of a fully vetted ecosystem of more than 90 software vendors and Software-as-a-Service providers.\nPart of the IBM Cloud for Financial Services solution set, IBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads is a secure, automated reference architecture that empowers clients to use existing VMware processes and technologies in a cloud made specifically for financial services. It includes extra features for highly regulated environments that more effectively govern security controls, audit the administration of the cloud, provide extra data protection safeguards, build in compliance, and automate encryption.\nIBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads\u2019 architecture comprises three isolated and dedicated layers: a management control and monitoring plane, one for managing edge clusters and gateways and keeping them isolated from the public internet, and a workload cluster with NSX-T to enable a common network control plane and security policies for virtual machines and containers running on VMware.\nLearn more about IBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads and the VMware and IBM Cloud partnership here.