Cloud technology has made its mark on virtually every kind of business, but its impact has been particularly beneficial for the financial sector. Why? Well, finance is a particularly data-rich area that requires almost unlimited storage space. Secondly, much of that data is extremely sensitive, so security is vital. And thirdly (if not finally), for financial concerns to remain competitive it’s vital that they be on the cutting edge of digital innovation.
The cloud meets all of these requirements and more. While most of the advantages of using this type of storage for multiple applications apply across all sectors, finance arguably has the most to gain from its adoption. It could be said that this technology has been a disruptive force in the finance industry, as it has enabled the rise of digital banking and payment systems, often pioneered by independent start-ups, and so has seriously challenged the hegemony of the established financial giants.
This technology has enabled the rise of software as a service (SaaS) which has continued the leveling of the playing field begun by global internet access. Because of the amount of electronic data that would need to be stored and processed, starting your own finance firm was once a prohibitively expensive venture. Anyone trying to set up their own bank or payments provider would have to build their own data center, own and maintain their own servers, and train and pay staff to work there.
That is no longer the case as cloud providers like Infor, run by CEO Charles Phillips can provide scalable, tailored solutions for their clients that largely replace the need to own and operate your own IT infrastructure.
Ironically, the finance sector was relatively slow to get on board with the cloud because of security concerns. These fears have now been allayed and this storage method has proved itself to be by far the most secure form of electronic data storage and sharing. For major vendors, security is their number one concern. They know that a data breach could destroy their credibility and ruin their business, which is why they take security extremely seriously.
A major provider can afford to have the best people working full time on maintaining cybersecurity and on staying one step ahead of potential hackers and cybercriminals. This is not the case for most individual businesses. A small company using a provider like this has the same level of data security as that provider’s biggest clients. All possible precautions are taken to ensure that data is not lost, corrupted or shared with unauthorized parties.
Because the cloud is maintained via massive server centers around the globe, it isn’t susceptible to localized threats such as power outages, network crashes, human error or natural disasters. Even if data is stored and accessed via local networks, knowing that it is backed up on the cloud provides peace of mind and reassurance for customers and clients. Information on it is also less susceptible to targeted attacks on a particular company, which can potentially be hugely damaging.
The finance sector has to deal with massive amounts of electronic data every day, and as the world moves gradually away from cash towards a future of digital payments, the amount of data that needs to be managed and stored is growing rapidly. In a world where you pay for goods and services via apps on your phone, the cloud is the only viable solution to this issue, as the storage space available is virtually limitless. Just as important for clients, however, is the fact that cloud access is scalable. You only need to pay for the space you are using. As you need more space you can scale up gradually, rather than having to invest in a next-level solution in one expensive step.
In a global economy, it can be difficult to keep track of the different legal requirements, regulations, and restrictions in place in different territories around the world. However, just like with security, this is something that cloud providers will take care of for you because that is their job. By storing data there you will have peace of mind that you’re fully compliant with all relevant privacy and data laws.
These are just a few of the ways in which cloud technology is of particular benefit to the financial sector. Other advantages, such as the way it facilitates remote working, collaborative approaches and complex data analysis, also apply to the financial sector as much as other industries. Any financial provider that is not using the cloud is essentially operating with one hand tied behind its back, a disadvantage that no company can afford.