Today, banking customers want their up-to-date account information to be available at the touch of a button, stored safely and securely on the mobile devices in their pocket. To establish stronger customer relationships, financial services organizations are striving to improve their services, speed up their time-to-market with rapid deployment and ensure better performance and reliability. To do this, they’re increasingly turning to the cloud to develop and deliver digital services at low cost – Gartner predicts that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-Internet” policy is today.
In this series of blogs so far, we’ve looked at the importance of the technology for the industry and key considerations for businesses to make – from why digital transformation will be impossible without cloud to the emergence of hybrid solutions for financial services. But once an organization has decided to go down the cloud route, how do they migrate their applications and infrastructure to a cloud service delivery model? Here, I examine the best approach for businesses to take before they embark on their cloud transformation journey.
Analyze your existing app portfolio
When working out which business applications to migrate to the cloud and which applications to develop and build as new cloud-native programs, work with trusted partners to identify the business case for transformation. Assess the complexity and value of each app and flag those that are strategic and those that are regulatory. Ask questions such as:
- What are the potential benefits (and ROI) of migrating these applications (and related business processes) to the cloud?
- Which methodology and tooling will be used?
- Which applications should be key targets for the cloud?
Answering these questions will help businesses to decipher the best way to tackle the migration.
Prioritize each transformation option
Work with transformation consultants who can use formal evaluation tools to help prioritize and plan the cloud migration for both applications and infrastructure. Taking both business criteria and technological characteristics into account, these consultants will recommend the most appropriate cloud service and deployment model to ensure the business gains maximum benefit. This is referred to as the Decision Factory at Atos, and we work with our clients to establish the best cloud strategy for their business applications.
Transform applications for the cloud
Finally, organizations must work out how they’re going to execute the transformation of their app portfolio into Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), PaaS, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and cloud-native applications. This is something we refer to at Atos as the Cloud Factory, and we support our clients with our rich heritage in cloud architecture, cloud-native application development, software engineering methodology and cloud deployment to roll-out the transformation according to the following classifications:
- Build new – develop new cloud-native apps and containers
- Modernize and transform – redevelop apps or components to be cloud-enabled
- Migrate – Move apps to run and be managed in the cloud, both using Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) functionality
- Retire – Apps shutdown and archive service, capturing data, configuration and code in compliant context
- Retain – Enable unchanged apps with optimized management for seamless and hybrid apps
Of course, in parallel with this modernization project, the first decision will have been made to develop any new application as a cloud native one: with low adherences with the infrastructure, being opened via APIs and highly instrumented, a cloud native app will provide the scalability, the agility, the speed, and the resilience that the business is now expecting.
In five years’ time, expect to see cloud solutions widely deployed in all banking and insurance companies. Each new application will be developed, integrated and deployed continuously by containers and on public or private cloud infrastructures. Those organizations that don’t stay ahead of the curve run the risk of falling behind the competition and losing the race to become truly digital enterprises that meet and exceed their mobile-first customers.
For more information, see my articles on why digital transformation will be impossible without cloud and the emergence of hybrid solutions for Financial Services.