A Safe Path to the Cloud for Financial Firms

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Winding stairs

For many financial services companies, moving to the public cloud is not only impractical but may also violate regulations. But they shouldn’t have to forfeit the elasticity, automation, and connectivity benefits of cloud infrastructure. Matt Milton, general manager for financial services in IBM’s North America region, talks about the unique challenges financial firms face in cloud migration, the value of private cloud for modernization, and how Kyndryl[1] is addressing the industry’s needs.

Q: What are some of the unique regulatory challenges that financial services firms face?

There are myriad controls such as “know your client,” anti-money-laundering, cyberresilience, and data protection. There can also be complexity around where firms store data and how they manage their environments. And the expectation is that the systems always work and are always on.

Q: How can cloud platforms make compliance easier?

Private clouds are tailored for these challenges. They are designed for consistency of reporting, compliance, and clarity around data.

Financial services use cloud platforms, but public cloud isn’t always the answer. It also isn’t always easy or beneficial to port a legacy application to the public cloud. And financial services firms often don’t want their data or workloads in a public cloud, for regulatory, residency, and security reasons.

Q: How can private cloud IaaS help with application modernization?

You can build a highly available, scalable private cloud environment that allows you to modernize without rebuilding the application entirely. As you bridge to private and then to public cloud, you get scalability, contemporary services, automation, and market-tested artificial intelligence. You can then think about decoupling workloads from the infrastructure and taking advantage of new services.

Q: Does private cloud help deliver improved customer experiences?

Absolutely. Customers expect services to be always on and in multiple channels. The cloud lets you deliver that seamless experience quickly. The low cost of failure makes it easier to deploy or turn off new services. Finally, cloud makes it easier to deploy services across multiples channels so customers can handle their own needs.

Q: What are the core capabilities financial institutions should consider in evaluating managed IaaS providers?

Is the provider a stepping stone to a full public environment or a legacy managed environment? Are workloads easily portable from private to public cloud? Are there AI and self-healing features? What is the level of automation?

Financial services need to be able to bring their own encryption keys. Resilience is also critical: Is the environment highly available and integrated into a disaster recovery environment out of region?

There are also skills considerations, based on your own capabilities to manage a cloud environment. You want to choose partners with the right skills and experience.

Q: How does Kyndryl's Managed Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service address these challenges?

First, we’ve got deep experience and know-how in complex environments. Secondly, we work with enough financial services firms to leverage what we learn elsewhere.

We can replicate automation patterns around the world. We have fully protected, always-on environments and significant additional security abilities like security analytics.

Finally, we deliver a lot of the benefits of public cloud in a dedicated environment managed by people who have been doing it for decades, understand the regulatory environment, and can constantly change.

Matt Milton is the General Manager, Financial Services Market for IBM Global Technology Services, North America. He is responsible for partnering with clients in the Financial Industry to leverage data, cloud, cognitive and security to modernize and run their most critical infrastructure. Through this role Matt has extensive experience creating strategic partnerships that generate long term value for both parties.

For more information on IBM’s Managed Private Cloud IaaS, visit www.kyndryl.com.

[1]Kyndryl is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Business Machines Corporation with the intent that Kyndryl will be spun-out.