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5 keys to cloud migration in the financial services industry

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Cloud migration financial servicesMore than ever, it is imperative for financial services organizations to migrate to the cloud.

New demands from customers and shareholders, along with increasing regulatory requirements, require organizations to have an IT ecosystem that can deliver increased agility, innovation and customization. For those hesitating because of security, data privacy and compliance concerns, here are five keys to cloud migration to reduce the risk of using cloud computing in the banking industry.

1. Develop your strategy early.

Many clients come to me without a plan, and starting a cloud migration without one would be setting yourself up for failure. Organizations must develop strategies that can meet their unique business requirements, such as speed and agility to handle customer-facing financial transactions while ensuring regulatory compliance. To do this, perform a portfolio analysis to examine current systems, applications and processes and gain a thorough understanding of the IT environment and workloads. Be sure to use tools that gather information in a consistent format so as to not end up with an incomplete analysis.

2. Determine which applications are suitable for cloud.

Before moving applications anywhere, determine which ones are suitable for cloud. Cloud-ready applications could include standardized applications, self-contained workloads and applications developed using a service-oriented architecture. Complete an assessment of the organization’s entire financial services portfolio before choosing a target environment. For applications that can’t be migrated or modernized, such as apps that require a high degree of customization, place them in an application lifecycle management process where their existence must be justified periodically. Ideally, create a timeline to eventually replace or retire those applications.

3. Secure the right skills and resources.

The core strength of a financial services organization is financial services, not cloud migration, so it’s best to work with cloud professionals with migration expertise. Where a cloud migration used to be a lift-and-shift operation that capitalized on infrastructure savings, it now includes adapting and modernizing applications to function in a hybrid IT, typically multicloud, environment. To secure relevant cloud migration expertise and technology for their move to an IBM private cloud, the Dutch bank ABN Amro signed a 10-year deal with IBM to manage, standardize and simplify its IT infrastructure. The cloud solution provides tools, accelerators, cognitive capabilities and industry best practices built on a delivery methodology based on decades of experience with cloud migration consulting. Watch the video to learn more about how ABN Amro’s investments are infusing more flexibility, agility and speed into the organization.

4. Maintain data integrity.

The financial services industry contains a multitude of sensitive personal and financial information. Loss of data integrity in such highly regulated environments could have severe consequences. Fortunately, using appropriate file-transfer tools and following platform-specific best practices can help mitigate that risk substantially.

In addition to preventing data loss in the first place, establish a way to validate your business processes and ensure that the cloud migration preserved business value and operations. It is vital to have a good backup for comparison in the case of data corruption. Also, be sure that whichever service provider you choose has validation process expertise.

5. Adopt an end-to-end approach

After migrating applications to the cloud, an organization must have a way to manage its new ecosystem, unify it from support and cost perspectives, and control risk and security. A comprehensive solution that encompasses the full lifecycle of cloud adoption, from strategy to implementation, and provides a vertically integrated solution view for applications, infrastructure and operations is necessary. Recognizing the need for dedicated cloud services, Lloyds Banking Group signed a 10-year deal with IBM. Under the agreement, IBM will provide dedicated cloud offerings hosted securely in both Lloyds and IBM data centers in the UK and will manage the application migration services to the new cloud.

The IBM cloud solution delivery methodology is built on an end-to-end analytics platform on which lessons learned have been converted into patterns, rules and other custom analytics. The solution provides a systematic approach to cloud migration in all its phases, from data gathering to migration execution and even post-migration activities.

Learn more about how IBM clients are embracing the cloud to meet future business challenges. You can also register to download the Forrester study to learn what the leaders in modernization are doing and get a roadmap to winning at digital transformation.

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