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Cloud Opportunities Finally Outweigh the Risk

COVID-19 has changed the world of working and financial services forever, making cloud the No.1 game changer worldwide.

In this second Q&A in the Fenergo Cloud series, Keith Redmond, VP of SaaS Engineering with Fenergo discusses how financial institutions are finally seeing more opportunity than risk in the move to the cloud.

Keith, before COVID, how did senior decision makers perceive cloud?

For me, what I saw when dealing with senior stakeholders on the technology side was always a recognition of the opportunity provided from a technology point of view with cloud. But the thing was, the opportunity was balanced against a risk. It was never seen as a risk and an opportunity together.

The risks were more concrete things like data privacy and data residency, which were perceived as major risks or blockers. So many risk averse firms felt it was safer to run or control their tech environments themselves in an on-premise environment.

Now, we’re finally starting to see the opportunity outweigh the risk. Financial institutions are beginning to see that the only way to engage with their customers is by harnessing things like cloud technology, which can scale and gain access to the market that’s been created by things like the COVID pandemic.

How do you counter the arguments against cloud adoption?

Firstly, the broader adoption of cloud that has been brought on not just by the pandemic, but also the passage of time and realizing the true opportunity. More major international organizations, governments, and regulatory bodies are using cloud technology themselves. This has significantly reduced the perception of risk and has brought cloud into the mainstream.

There has been a lot of work done in the industry by cloud providers to boost their own regulatory security, which has further lowered the risk of moving to the cloud.

Why do you think the risk is lower now?

Having access to a global network of security infrastructure from a cloud provider gives much more access to experts who specialize in things like global scalability and resilience.

So, we have expert technology and expert technologists that work for the cloud provider. They tend to be at the leading edge of the industry, which delivers more reliability – a safety net even – which might not be the case if you’re trying to run it yourself.

How has Fenergo changed its technology to match pace with that dramatic acceleration of cloud?

We have two main objectives:

  1. To deliver best-of-breed technologies that can enable financial institutions to onboard clients in a faster and safer way.
  2. To onboard our financial institution end users on our software and have them working on it from Day 1.

In addition to delivery of our software, our clients come to the platform for our best practice configuration and functionality. Then from there, the platform is fully configurable, so they can adjust and update it to suit their needs.

With Fenergo, our clients still get access to our industry experts, but we’ve invested more in our technology to focus on getting people onboard as quickly as they want to be. It’s about allowing financial institutions to ensure they’re compliant with all of their local regulations, combined with the opportunities afforded by having all the data in the cloud and a leading technology stack.

Outside of onboarding, what sort of benefits does Software-as-a-Service deliver for FIs?

First off, they get to hand-off control. They don’t need to manage the infrastructure, they don’t need to manage any hardware, support or operational concerns around the software itself. They can simply get access to the features that they want. This allows them to focus on business value and leave operations and technicalities to clinical thinking.

It means easier and frictionless upgrades. We can feed our clients regulatory updates, new content and new features without upgrading platforms or hardware or infrastructure on their side. The constant stream of updates and expertise is a huge opportunity.

Looking down the line, what discussions do you think we’ll be having about the cloud in a few years’ time within the FI space?

I think what you’ll find is a move toward end customers having more ownership and more visibility of their overall data set across multiple institutions. The statement will move from “I deal with one institution in their environment” and instead to “I deal with many institutions in my environment.”

I think we’ll see open banking move forward significantly. There will be a flip in the ownership with a more retail feel, where you can log into a single account and connect to many institutions, many products and many banks.

To hear more from Keith, you can click here to watch our latest webinar featuring AWS and RBC Global Asset Management. Want to read more about how to effectively manage cloud adoption journeys and simplify client experience? Download the full report.