How Partners Can Help Us Create a Secure Ecosystem for the Financial Services Industry

2 min read

Our next move to onboard ISVs to the IBM financial services-ready public cloud.

Bank customers—whether business clients or consumers—expect modern convenience and security from their financial service providers. In fact, banks were pioneers in building consumer-facing apps. But, until recently, the need to ensure data security, privacy, and network resiliency and to meet the strict compliance demands of regulators has impeded a deeper digital reinvention by financial service providers.

That’s why late last year, we announced the industry's first financial services-ready public cloud. This was done in collaboration with Bank of America, which agreed to host key applications and workloads to support the requirements and privacy and safety expectations of its customers, while also addressing the unique compliance requirements of the financial services industry.

But what about Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) partners that transact with financial institutions and serve banks both large and small? Ensuring their security and compliance readiness can be a painstaking, long, tedious, and labor-intensive process for banks—one that hampers innovation and broader industry collaboration.

In the context of the financial services-ready public cloud program, we provide a prescriptive implementation and evidence process to guide each ISV to deliver their offerings through the financial services-ready public cloud. This enables them to accelerate and simplify the engagement and evidence process between the ISV and future participating banks.

Introducing the first participating ISV and SaaS partners

Now we are excited to announce the first Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) partners who intend to onboard their offerings to the financial services-ready public cloud. Assima,, Finacle, Intellect Design, and Thought Machine are the first to commit to delivering their offerings through the platform, thereby providing participating banks an efficient way to ensure they are working with trusted vendors.

Each of these ISVs will be part of the IBM public cloud ecosystem and will go through an onboarding process, supported by IBM and designed with the financial services-ready public cloud requirements.

New technical developments

We’ve also made several technical developments leading up to the general availability of the financial services-ready public cloud. With a focus on data protections, we expanded our industry-leading Hyper Protect Crypto Services and Keep-Your-Own-Key (KYOK) capabilities. Now, Hyper Protect Crypto Services will support smart cards that key administrators can use to help enterprises secure their data in transit. The service also introduces support for application-level encryption where apps can encrypt and decrypt larger chunks of application data, using KYOK capabilities.

Given the importance of managing risk and meeting regulatory compliance requirements in financial services, we also work with financial institutions and ISVs to help them define and monitor their security and compliance posture. This spans from interpreting regulatory requirements with expertise from Promontory to managing those controls in IBM Cloud with automation and integrated DevSecOps processes. We will provide a reference architecture that enables financial services-ready public cloud users to more effectively implement and manage security and compliance controls in the cloud.

Looking ahead to IBM’s financial services-ready public cloud

The financial services-ready public cloud is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2020 and we truly believe it represents a significant breakthrough for the industry by enabling banks to migrate sensitive operations to the public cloud and take advantage of advanced, cloud native technologies from trusted ISVs.

For more IBM Partner Ecosystem news timed with IBM Think Digital, visit the IBM Newsroom and the IBM Business Partners blog.

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