Raising the cloud game: How banks can optimize their cloud investment

By Commvault

Banking strategies are shifting from exploring cloud to expediting it. With competition on the rise, bank leaders are seeking to up their game by extending cloud to back end systems in order to boost data performance and reduce costs.

Once free of archaic legacy systems, they hope to raise the bar on agility, innovation and scale without compromising on security. 

Less ownership more empowerment

Instead of owning IT platforms, servers and data centers, smart banks are opting to consume them through cloud services – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). As a result, they’re reaping tangible rewards including more elastic cost structures and lower capital expenditure, and freeing resources to focus on building seamless customer experiences and revenue generation. 

Thanks to cloud, exciting new services can be developed, fine-tuned and then scaled-out fast if and when demand takes off – minimizing costs and lowering risk.  

Empowering innovation in this way is levelling the playing field and allowing traditional banks to compete with nimbler, acquisition-hungry digital challengers like Starling and Monzo, who are fast becoming the “go-to” brands for first-time Gen Z bank customers and mobile-loving millennials.

Keeping cloud future-ready

With digital services and tools – from real-time payments and blockchain to AI and machine learning – firmly established as the new battleground for banks, data generation and consumption will continue to skyrocket. So how can banks ensure their cloud platform keeps pace?  

Firstly, they must keep their options open. That means choosing a platform that supports as broad a range of applications and databases as possible, including public cloud environments, operations support system (OSS) and hypervisors, network-attached storage (NAS) systems and primary storage arrays.

Secondly, the platform should be 100% cloud-native, not simply modified or enhanced versions of existing legacy systems. It’s also a good idea to incorporate a single, unified data platform for backup and recovery to simplify data management across both on-premises and cloud workloads. Finally, new systems have to be able to cope with volumes today and also be able to scale in line with the bank’s growth and service ambitions. In most cases, that means petabytes of public cloud data to store, elevate and protect cloud assets.

Going with the data flow

There’s no doubt that virtualization using the cloud offers a powerful and flexible way to accommodate an explosion of bank data and applications. But to optimize success, banks have to look beyond the cloud specification, to how they protect, store and manage their cloud data within it.   

For this reason, good data management should lie at the heart of any cloud strategy. Here are three tips to ensure yours is on track:

For this reason, good data management should lie at the heart of any cloud strategy. Here are three tips to ensure yours is on track:

  1. Avoid silos and sprawl: Replicate and spin up VMs
    Choose a solution that allows you to back up, recover and manage Virtual Machine (VMs) across your full environment, regardless of where they live. No more standalone point products, no more data silos, no more redundant infrastructure and no more VM sprawl. Spinning-up servers within the same storage footprint as the backups gives efficient use of cloud resources and helps reduce costs. 
  2. Unify backups: Centralize and consolidate
    Unify data protection to protect, access and use data across both on-premises and cloud locations. This allows bank service managers to more easily manage storage solutions across hybrid cloud environments and to configure and administer all their software-defined storage infrastructure from a single location. Replace legacy backup products by moving those older backups and archives directly to cloud storage. Choose the cloud or clouds that match your backup SLAs with the ability to moving old workloads without losing the date stamp.
  3. Optimize data flows: Self-heal storage and connect ecosystems
    Look for solutions that offer comprehensive support for multi-tenant data centers, including the ability to manage tenant-level access, control and encryption settings using a single web-based admin console. A solution that combines backup and recovery with Software Defined Storage (SDS) helps you achieve a scalable, self-healing, non-disruptive and predictable storage platform that can grow as you need more capacity and expand out to include third-party partners, their apps and services.

Explore these and other new ways to safeguard and optimize bank cloud investment.