This post is the fourth part of a series exploring the cloud in Asia Pacific. It covers the current cloud situation across the region, how is the cloud being used, what is holding back further adoption, and how the cloud can be used for innovation. It will also examine the cloud in the FSI sector.

In the previous post we looked at the obstacles for cloud uptake in the FSI industry. In this post I’ll provide insight into the five key areas the cloud is being used in the FSI sector.

Big data analysis, innovation, managing applications across multiple data centers and testing are other areas where financial institutions are looking at clouds for. However, they remain cautious due to regulations and current misconceptions about the insecurity of the Internet. Therefore, many financial institutions have adopted clouds in five ways:

Enabling workload mobility

Workload mobility aims to provide banking IT with flexibility and agility that was previously not possible when constrained by specific hardware or storage platforms. By decoupling the workloads from the operating systems, storage layers and servers, bank IT teams can now deploy those applications where they are needed-fast.

Rebalancing the Return on Equity equation

According to Gartner, poor return on equity will drive more than 60 percent of banks worldwide to process the majority of their transactions in the cloud. Clouds can help to increase utilization rate while reduce investment in on-premise equipment and software licenses.

Become more customer-centric

With competition soaring, Big Data analysis has become an effective tool to identify and maximize on new consumer behaviour trends as well as offer new services to current or future high-networth individuals. Building an on-premise infrastructure to house all these data can be costly, especially in the current economic climate. Increasingly, clouds are being used as platforms for Big Data analysis.

Driving Innovation

Innovation is another area where clouds are taking off in FSI. Many financial institutions are looking to increase their competitiveness by offering new services and features quickly across multiple platforms. Clouds offer a robust and platform for services delivery. This has especially created a huge interest in cloud orchestration to manage applications across multiple data centers.

Test platform

Lastly, clouds offer the opportunity for financial institutions to quickly test and provision services that their employees and customers need. With development lifecycle shortening, demand for new services increasing and tolerance for half-baked software reducing, many are looking to use clouds as test beds.

In my final post I will look at how cloud can be used as an innovation engine for APAC enterprises.