Finally, banking institutions have started liking cloud computing after passing almost a decade in uncertainty and inkling about it. Most of them were failing to convince themselves about handing their sensitive data to an outsider. In a recent survey, around 71 percent bank executives and CEOs showed their interest in investing more finance and time towards this concept. This rate has augmented 4 times as compared to the figure revealed by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year. Note that more than half of 115 banking institutions surveyed were from the US. According to PWC officials, the biggest reason for this shift is that cloud computing service vendors have secured of their services more and especially those offered to banks and financial institutions. They have made them more secure, robust and reliable thus, winning the trust of banking sector and making them accept this technology. They have made CEOs more comfortable and thus they have started investing more resources in moving their apps and data in public clouds.
I believe, it’s like “better late than never” and feel happy that finally banking institutions have finally started to accept this technology and make significant improvement in their working process. Earlier too banks were accepting cloud computing, but they were biased towards private cloud computing because in “private” cloud, all major controls are handled by the consumer rather than the vendor. But this survey shows a clear shift of interest of banking institutions as have started investing in “public” cloud as well. The first use of cloud computing in banking sectors is application testing and development. It is obvious as testing of applications requires a considerable amount of resources and usually takes around 3-6 months.
Now banks have started to transfer human resources, accounting and operation apps in public clouds. One example in this context comes from South Africa, where a bank is planning to move its human resources apps to the cloud for experimentation. If it is satisfied with the outcome, it would put core banking apps too in the cloud.
According to experts, to make security more robust, cloud computing vendors have started encrypting data during storage and while it is in transit. They have also invested significantly in identify and access management. According to the same survey, mid-tier banks have started skipping the intermediate step of private cloud implementation and heading straight towards public cloud computing. This news is a big booster for the public cloud concept, which was in scarcity of users until now. Earlier this year, Gartner predicted that the use of public cloud will see a significant rise in 2013 and this recent report further strengthens Gartner’s predictions. Gartner presented a very precise data and said that the use of public cloud computing will grow by 13 percent to earn revenue of USD 131 billion worldwide in 2013. Note that the revenue earned was USD 111 billion last year. Gartner further predicted that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that includes cloud computing storage and print services would be the fastest growing segment in 2013, as it was last year.
According to the research report I referred in the beginning, the banking sector would rely mostly on top-notch cloud storage providers like GOOG, AMZN, MSFT and RAX. In April this year, AMZN revealed that its S3 service stores more than 2 trillion objects and it continues to get 1 million requests per second. According to PWC analysts, this situation will continue to grow and in 15 years from now, data centres will abolish completely from this planet and everything will be stored in the cloud storages.