Blog · 07 Dec 2021

Building a new cloud ecosystem for banking and financial services

The maturity of carrier neutral facilities offers the financial sector a better cloud experience, facilitating an accelerated move to the cloud.

James Maudslay
Digital Industry Lead for Insurance and Financial Services – at Equinix EMEA

Banking and financial services organisations have reached a tipping point in their cloud journey where they’re ready to explore new ways of operating to meet an urgent list of requirements.

Whether it’s underpinning new digital transformation projects, supporting the latest DevOps initiatives or delivering hybrid working capabilities – moving to the cloud is proving to be essential. Cloud services are also offering a proven and compelling case for unlocking cost transformation opportunities and establishing themselves in the eco-system alongside legacy data centres.

There’s a growing sense that cloud has proven itself to banking and financial services, encouraging moves to a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud approach to meet specific needs. However, this acceptance comes with a couple of hefty provisos – organisations must have strong control over any cloud services so they can meet stringent security and regulatory requirements, and they must be able to tap into the market experience that will steer them to successful deployments.

Just as the sector is ready to push forward into cloud, Carrier Neutral Facilities (CNFs) have reached the level of maturity that means they’re ready to support banking and financial services organisations with cloud access that meets their regulatory, security and experience requirements. It’s rare that market structures mature at the same time as an urgent need comes to a head, but we’re witnessing such a moment right now.

CNFs are key to delivering control and experience

CNFs bring together network, security, cloud and compute services from a variety of providers under one infrastructure ‘roof’, much like a shopping centre brings together your favourite stores into one easily accessible location. For banking and financial services organisations this co-location is ideal. It opens up possibilities for boosting efficiency and productivity by creating one localised place for organisations to breakout into the cloud. One CNF location brings together access to the internet, MPLS networks and the ability to add private compute services. And, at the same time, it delivers a high degree of control, as well as access to the experience that comes with building best-of-breed solutions.

CNFs offer an interconnected financial services ecosystem that gives easy and secure connection to a range of partners and suppliers. They’re already joining together banks and financial services organisations with exchanges and trading venues, technology and content providers, card networks, payment intermediaries and financial institutions. CNFs bring flexibility and don’t force an organisation to tie themselves to one technology or supplier.

CNFs are an ideal way to meet customer experience requirements

The financial services sector absolutely must deliver the experience their customers expect whenever they find themselves on the digital edge. Now, the challenge is to create a structure that can manage the constantly changing digital interconnection so important to tying together activity at the edge with core systems.

When I talk to customers, they describe this as an increasingly app-driven situation where access to leading SaaS solutions is vital to delivering the self-service and immediacy that customers are looking for. These solutions are equally important to the experience and productivity of internal users, too. Employees depend on reliable applications and services to work effectively and to deliver the service their end customers expect.

But operating at the digital edge widens the attack surface that banks and financial services organisations must defend – an issue that’s keeping CIOs awake at night. Increasingly, financial boardrooms and IT departments are recognising that they need to bring in specialist tools and skills to make a secure, effective cloud environment a reality.

When it comes to finding and connecting with SaaS providers, a CNF is a straightforward, cost-effective and secure way to pull together and access a tailored portfolio of software solutions. Already, tried and tested, fully industrialised solutions for anti money laundering and ‘Know Your Customer’ are in routine use. And more offerings will follow in these footsteps, becoming mainstream products.

New frontiers for financial cloud ecosystems

Through our partnership with BT, we’re delivering the connection points at the cloud edge that banking and financial services need to forge forward, bringing together and connecting the network and service providers that power business success. BT’s Cloud Control for Financial Services includes our CNF and provides a flexible and agile approach to cloud adoption, helping organisations collaborate and share data easily. Banks and financial services organisations can now scale transaction capability, collaborate across open ecosystems, integrate and process new sources of data, and offer new secure digital experiences and products – all with the reassurance of our joint experience in helping businesses towards cloud success.

To find out more, get in touch with your BT account manager.