Over the last number of years, financial institutions across the world have been rapidly moving from on-premise models of operation to a cloud-based one.
Less so across the Middle East, where we have typically found favourability towards on-premise software platforms over cloud due to a perceived regulatory risk associated with moving sensitive data to the cloud and downtime due outages.
This is rapidly changing.
Last year, AWS announced that it is now operating in the UAE, providing three Availability Zones that allow financial institutions to spread their applications across multiple data centres. Each Zone is available in separate and distinct geographic locations, with enough distance to reduce the risk of a single event affecting availability in the region but near enough for business continuity for applications that require rapid fail over and synchronous replication. It followed this announcement in November 2022, outlining the expansion of its availability of AWS Storage Gateway allowing cloud users in the UAE to manage a hybrid approach of on-premise data storage backed by cloud storage.
This is great news for the region.
Now, UAE financial institutions can reap the benefits of the cloud that their counterparts in other countries are currently achieving, while minimizing the risks traditionally associated with moving data and processes into the cloud. Moving to SaaS-based platforms offers more agility, scalability, and economic advantages to financial institutions such as the ability to achieve:
- True business transformation through no-code configuration and continuous delivery of product updates.
- Reduced risk that supports data privacy and data resiliency through multi-region support. The key to a strong cloud architecture is being able to choose in which region you want your data to be stored in keeping with data privacy practices
- Greater operational efficiencies with lower total cost of ownership and faster deployments. Cloud eliminates the cost of upgrading and provisioning infrastructure. The total cost of ownership compared to on-premise infrastructure is far lower.
- Excellent customer experience and flexibility with anytime, anyway and via any device approach to banking. This will stave away any competitive threat posed by digital-first banks.
Fenergo has already seen SaaS success in the Middle East. Bank ABC is one of our valued clients. Headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with a presence spanning 15 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia, Bank ABC had a vision to become the “bank of the future” for its corporate banking clients. This would involve delivering a fully digital corporate onboarding service, enabling corporates and financial institutions to open an account anytime via any device, track their onboarding status in real-time and readily access the Bank’s financial products and services.
Underpinning Bank ABC’s vision is Fenergo’s SaaS platform, which provides an API- and Configuration-first approach, delivering advanced integration with a host of internal and external KYC, AML and entity data providers, and creating a faster, digital client onboarding process with real-time connectivity and an enhanced client experience. With the agile nature of Fenergo SaaS, implementation for the first unit in the bank took just four months.
Bank ABC is not alone.
Recent statistics show that the UAE cloud storage market is projected to grow a significant rate, with the BFSI (Banking Financial Services Industry) vertical expected to hold a significant share of the UAE cloud storage market.
What we’re seeing in the market is proof that the reward far outweighs the risk when it comes to cloud adaption. With tangible solutions to solve challenges and concerns around data privacy and data residency, the benefits of cloud technology are coming to the fore across the Middle East.
The move to SaaS is now imperative for any financial institution that wants to deliver next generation efficiencies that create excellent customer experiences and keep the competition at bay!