How Microsoft Azure Cloud Is Impacting the Finance Industry

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Written By Renata Kalsbeek

Microsoft Azure currently boasts of taking a large section of the cloud marketplace, and with their commercial cloud business exceeding $38 billion in revenue and gross margin increasing to 63 percent, their market share is bound to increase tremendously.

Microsoft Azure delivers quality cloud computing services to many people and organizations. But why would we say it particularly impacts the finance sector?

The industry clearly has so many requirements, among them being minimizing risk and maximizing returns as they invest money. Just like any other organization that utilizes cloud computing services, the financial service industry would also require cloud computing for data storage, data retrieval, and data security.

For the industry to achieve these requirements and fulfill its responsibilities using a cloud computing service, only one cloud computing services provider stands out, and here is why.

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Computing in Banking and FinTech

The organizations offering financial services must balance many demands.

Among this long list of demands is the pressure to come up with new innovations and the need to extend their services to new locations. All these they do while managing their existing customer base, managing their risk, and dealing with financial crime.

There is an increasingly high demand for competition, modernization, and compliance. Financial organizations have resorted to hybrid cloud, public cloud, and multi-cloud strategies to meet this demand.

To make matters worse, many financial services companies manage services and large portfolios, including apps that have been used for a long period of time. These apps cannot accommodate new capabilities that support mobile applications or business intelligence.

Consequently, they have shortcomings that negatively impact their operations.

Cloud computing increases efficiency in operations in the financial industry. It allows the banking and financial sector to digitize their services. Digitalization promotes the building of infrastructure by financial institutions in order for them to provide better services to their customers.

Data security is of great concern to all banks and financial firms because they experience many attacks and hack attempts. Sometimes, these attacks lead to the loss of crucial information. Cloud computing helps eliminate such risks by authenticating data centers.

Of all the cloud computing services providers, Microsoft provides hybrid cloud computing services to finance organizations. It enhances security by providing end-to-end protection to the information stored in their servers.

This ensures both customer and organizational information is kept confidential and availed to the authorized persons over the internet. Customers also get a smooth experience and have secure transactions.

These are the benefits of great hybrid cloud strategies in a nutshell:

1. Ability to extend existing on-premises applications to the cloud

Organizations enjoy the benefits of the public cloud such as speed and scale without having to restructure entire applications.

Organizations have the flexibility of choosing what portions of the application remain in the existing data center and what section is transferred to the cloud. The modernization strategy is made easier and steadier.

2. Consistent infrastructure management approach 

A hybrid cloud model delivers a consistent experience with an organization’s infrastructure across all locations. One is able to consistently manage their resources on on-premises, multi-cloud, and the edge.

3. Flexibility

Hybrid strategies offer cloud computing services to users to flexibly choose services that best suit the features they need and the costs.

5. Expansive geographic reach

Opens up new markets by extending into such markets and establishing data centers in new locations while facilitating organizations to meet the increasing global demand.

6. Security and regulatory compliance

Hybrid cloud strategies are superb alternatives for strictly on-premises strategies when it comes to data portability, availability, and security. This helps reduce risk to incredible levels and address issues related to regulatory compliance.

7. Increased elasticity 

Customers can respond fast to rapid changes in transactions by provisioning and de-provisioning as the situation demands.

In high-compute scenarios such as complex risk modeling, organizations can easily scale up their capacity beyond their data center. The servers won’t be exhausted.

8. Reducing CapEx Expenses 

When you are using hybrid cloud services, you do not have to worry about the large capital outlay required to manage on-premises infrastructure. An organization only pays for what it consumes.

9. Accelerate time to market

Through a hybrid strategy, organizations can connect on-premises data to cloud-based capabilities, allowing users to modernize their services.

Organizations can accelerate testing and evaluation cycles due to virtualized environments. They can also enable smooth deployment across various locations.

Microsoft Azure Provides Financial Organizations with an Analytics Platform

Microsoft Azure AnalyticsFinancial organizations are entrusted with their customers’ finances, and one of their biggest concerns is getting the highest possible profits from these assets as they minimize their risk. They need some form of analytics to achieve this.

Most analytics solutions come with their own share of risks. Financial data can be very difficult to integrate, and it can be very costly to get a custom analytics solution.

Microsoft’s users have access to an analytics platform, and the finance sector has an analytics platform custom-made just for it. This platform eliminates the high costs you’d pay for a custom analytics solution and is simple to use.

Financial organizations can learn about their investment risks and get results at cloud speed. Banks and financial firms can prevent negative market occurrences from adversely impacting their operations, facilitating them to grow their investments even in adverse market conditions.

Empowering The Finance Industry to Achieve More

Financial companies live in a tech-driven world, and they are compelled by circumstances to embrace technology. As a matter of fact, they can use technology to better meet their customers’ expectations and satisfy regulatory requirements in this fast-changing world.

There is an enormous opportunity for organizations to increase the use of cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) as a way of inspiring growth, improving competitiveness, and enhancing customer experience.

More financial firms are taking advantage of this hyper-connected world by choosing cloud computing services. They are rapidly going beyond infrastructure services and are now focusing on productivity, customer relationship management, and Artificial Intelligence.

Microsoft Azure cloud computing empowers organizations to provide a differentiated customer experience by prioritizing customer insights and relationships.

The banking experience and payments have been highly modernized. The finance sector can also provide new products and services within relatively short periods of time. Microsoft Azure has achieved dynamism in the finance industry.

Notable Advantages of Azure Cloud Computing

1. Flexibility and Scalability

Banks and financial companies must have the ability to act swiftly for them to remain competitive. The world is fast-paced and digital financial institutions are getting significant market share.

With ever-changing market developments, Azure cloud computing gives banks the ability to rapidly scale to meet customer needs on a global scale. Scalability is a major reason for most organizations to choose cloud computing services.

2. Reduced Costs

Developing and operating a bank or a financial firm has over the years been a very expensive undertaking. One would have to construct new data centers. In addition to that, new personnel has to be recruited and trained to operate the data centers. This is extremely costly!

The downside of this is that many new market entrants have not been able to get into the financial industry as worthy competitors to the monopoly of banks that have been in operation for years.

Using Azure cloud saves banks from investing heavily in infrastructure, hardware and software, and the personnel that would maintain them.

Darren Gourley, the Chief Technology Officer at CYTI, says that CYTI saves 30 percent per annum on infrastructure costs because they moved to Azure. He attributes this to greater customization, better servers, and more market freedom.

3. Feasibility and Efficiency

How Microsoft Azure Cloud Is Impacting the Finance IndustryMicrosoft Azure cloud computing makes the use of data very easy. Banks deal with large amounts of data that are easy to deal with on Microsoft Azure.

Their custom analytics platform makes it easy to integrate large amounts of data and use them for planning and decision-making purposes.

Microsoft Azure cloud computing can help the financial industry to streamline its operations to improve its efficiency. This is vital for financial institutions that operate across many markets.

Without efficient operations, such organizations would not serve all their target demographics satisfactorily.

In Conclusion

Most organizations start their corporate journey from an on-premises operation. As they begin to expand and modernize, the consumption of public cloud services becomes inevitable.

As the rate at which cloud services are being adopted by organizations continues to grow, organizations in the finance industry must strive to either keep pace with the trend or play catch-up if they have been left behind. This includes choosing the most appropriate deployment strategy; whether they should use a hybrid cloud, full cloud, or multi-cloud approach.

To make the best choice, make a comprehensive assessment of your organization, and answer some fundamental questions. 

For example, does your organization’s digital strategy allow it to easily make use of new technologies? Is your firm considering expanding into new locations? Does your organization face compliance issues?

Take a good look at these questions and come up with the best conclusion that will put your organization at an advantage.

Cloud computing is no longer the next big thing. It is that big thing that most companies should be taking advantage of. Microsoft Azure cloud computing is the most widely used and the most advanced in the game.

As the industry moves towards full digitization, the benefits of Microsoft Azure cloud are increasingly becoming too conspicuous to ignore!

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