Best Practices in Cloud Adoption for Financial Services Organizations

April 6, 2017 - by Synoptek

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Calculations performed by research firm, IDC Financial Insights, show that cloud adoption for financial services organizations will save them $15 billion by 2019, cutting technology infrastructure costs by 25%. “About two thirds of global financial firms will be adopting cloud services in a significant way by next year,” IDC predicts.

Clearing the Obstacles for Cloud Adoption

Clearly, many of the obstacles preventing cloud adoption for Financial Services organizations have been addressed and overcome.

As cloud service providers have matured, their costs have become far more predictable, and costs were the top concern cited in a 2017 study by Deloitte.

Data Security came in second in the Deloitte study.

Cloud Adoption for Financial Services Organizations

The ADP Boost website suggests five questions that financial services executives should be asking before they choose to adopt a specific provider’s cloud services:

  1. How Does Your Data Encryption Work?

Ask cloud service providers about their encryption policies and procedures. Inherent in the design of cloud computing services are applications that are running on remote servers, using a shared data center infrastructure outside of your physical network. Therefore, data sent between the cloud service and your stakeholders must be transmitted over the internet, exposing it to potential breaches. Perhaps the best way to protect that data is to encrypt it.

  1. What Compliance Certifications Does Your Organization Meet or Exceed?

Compliance certifications aim to ensure measures are in place to protect the privacy of the people whose data is stored on computer networks, whether on cloud services or not. Depending on the industry, compliance programs could include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), or the TRUSTe and/or AICPA SOC, to name only a few.

Finance executives should ask cloud providers to provide proof of certifications that demonstrate the vendor meets or exceeds the same compliance requirements that their organization must meet. An organization must decide whether to trust a cloud service’s ability to be compliant.

  1. How Is My Data Segregated from Other Customers?

Using shared resources is what makes cloud services so efficient. The question you want answered, however, is “How is my data separated from other customer data?” You want the cost benefits of shared resources, with the security of separation.

  1. What Does the Audit Trail Process Look Like?

Security breaches can occur both from unauthorized outside threats and from employees, contractors and others who are authorized. As noted by Computer World, when breaches occur — which many security experts believe is a significant risk — companies need the ability to monitor and track usage activity.

Finance executives should ask questions about how activity is tracked in log files and if they get access to those log files. It may seem like auditing log files and tracking usage is not preventative, such as encryption and data segmentation, but it’s an important security measure that should be in place in the event of a breach.

  1. What Is Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

If it’s true that security breaches are seemingly inevitable, then executives should take deliberate steps to minimize the damages (and service downtime) that a breach can cause. The good news for cloud computing is that it is often designed with disaster recovery in mind, with built in redundancies, backups, and disaster recovery, according to the American Bar Association. Reputable cloud providers will have all these in place and detailed disaster-recovery plans readily available at your request. In fact, some cloud providers publish their disaster recovery plans on Amazon Web Services for anyone to read.

The great news is that financial service firms can safely, securely, and successfully leverage the cost benefits and business agility of cloud computing without compromising the safety and privacy of their clients’ information. Due diligence in obtaining complete answers to these questions and more, as well as a careful evaluation of the provider’s service agreement as well as their track record with other customers over time, will yield a highly satisfying result.

How Can Synoptek Help with Cloud Adoption for Financial Services Organizations?

Our experience helping thousands of financial service clients improve their IT performance over the years will be invaluable to your cloud adoption initiatives. Synoptek delivers value (not a commodity cloud solution) by providing a comprehensive management system for cloud hosting, infrastructure, monitoring, management, incident management, problem management, multi-tiered support, Live 24×7 Help Desk, security, and more.  Services that you need, but don’t come with typical cloud hosting.

Synoptek can provide:

  1. Cloud Security
  2. Configuration and Implementation – Cloud right sizing and resource allocation
  3. Management – 24×7 Support

To learn more about cloud adoption for your financial services organization, speak to Synoptek.

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