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Cloud Computing and Banks: Too Good to Pass Up

March 4, 2014

This article in ComputerWeekly about banks’ hesitancy to move services to the cloud reminds me of a television advertisement. A young businessman is filling out a deposit slip in this monolithic bank. A disembodied, dispassionate woman’s voice announces the bank is closing. His protest goes unheeded. The voice says that the bank is now closed and that he will have to make his deposit during normal business hours. “But, I work during normal business hours,” he replies, as the voice goes on to say what normal business hours are.

Banks are stuck, as the discourse in this article would suggest. On the one hand, they’re told insufficient legal guidance exists; the cloud industry is moving so fast that lawyers can’t get a fix on it. However, the faster it moves, the more distance banks place between themselves and the business advantages that cloud computing facilitate.

Then the naysayers tell them it’s not a secure place. Well, if the public cloud is safe enough for the CIA, then maybe it’s time for financial institutions to reexamine the state of cloud security (remember, the cloud industry moves fast). Even the notion of normal business hours is not what it used to be, thanks to mobile and social media technologies, as well as cloud enablement.

In this article, there are two people who understand the changing dynamics of getting work done and enhancing the customer experience … the payments processor and the “small next-generation cloud-only financial services firm.” It’s the small firm and others like it that will disrupt the status quo in banking and financial services because they understand the technology and know how to use it.

No one would argue that conducting proper due diligence in assessing cloud services and service providers is the absolute correct place to begin. We have arrived at a place, however, where overdoing due diligence to the point of inaction is more detrimental than helpful.

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