Financial companies still lacking on cloud strategy

Cloud technology is being adopted across a wide range of industry sectors and financial companies are no exception. But a new report from the Cloud Security Alliance suggests that many of them are still looking for the right strategy.

The survey targeted executives from banking, insurance and investment firms around the world. Whilst it found that cloud computing is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the financial sector, many respondents still don't have a firm strategy.

Among the findings are that 61 per cent of respondents admitted that a cloud strategy was in the formative stages within their organisation, with 39 to 47 per cent planning to use a mix of in-house IT, private, and public clouds, and 18 per cent planning to use private clouds.

None of the respondents had plans to be hosted mostly in a public cloud. Worryingly though the results of the survey also showed that the higher the electronic channel transaction base among a firm's customers, the less tough the policy with only three per cent of these types of organisations indicating having a strict cloud policy in place.

"The results of this report are insightful into understanding how the financial services industry is progressing in terms of cloud adoption and how cloud providers can best serve their interests and needs," says Jim Reavis, CEO of the CSA. "We hope that cloud providers and financial institutions can use this as guidance to help accelerate the adoption of secure cloud services in the financial industry".

Increased transparency and better auditing controls are something 80 per cent of financial firms want from their cloud providers, even more than better data encryption (57 per cent). On motives for moving to the cloud, respondents indicated that flexible infrastructure capacity was at top of their list (68 per cent), followed closely by the need for reduced time for provisioning (63 per cent).

The most popular services and features being adopted when moving to the cloud include CRM (46 per cent), application development (45 per cent), and email (41 per cent). Backend services (20 per cent) or virtual desks (14 per cent) are low priorities.

The report also looks at compliance regulation requirements when moving to the cloud. Top of the list here is data protection (75 per cent), followed by corporate governance (68 per cent), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) at 54 per cent, and national regulations on 47 per cent.

The full report How Cloud is Being Used in the Financial Sector is available to download from the CSA website.

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