IBM has already been making the headlines when it comes to making in-roads into the Cloud services for the financial sector. In November 2019, the New York-based IT giant had announced that it had designed world’s first financial services ready public Cloud. This was major news for the time as the financial sector was in dire need of a dedicated service to leverage the Cloud’s potential.
Since November 2019, IBM has been taking several other steps to bolster its financial services ready public Cloud. After announcing partnership with Bank of America last year, IBM updated that it had started working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) partners that announced their intention to onboard their offerings to IBM’s financial services-ready cloud.
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In June 2020, IBM had also announced the acquisition of Cloud cybersecurity management firm Spanugo. Hillery Hunter, the VP and CTO at IBM Cloud, talked about the acquisition and stated, “it includes capabilities that we’ll be releasing through our acquisition of Spanugo around cloud security and compliance posture management, mapped back to the context of financial services. This is where we can help others save time in this process of adopting public cloud for their workloads.”
Security Concerns Addressed
The financial firms now also have a reason to trust IBM’s Cloud offering as big names like Assima, C3.ai, Finacle, Intellect Design and Thought Machine are a part of the ISVs and SaaS organizations that have committed to hosting their offerings on IBM’s new Cloud. Hunter also spoke about the needs of financial sector, “we are moving into the next phase of financial services cloud by making the policy frameworks, which have been developed through an enormous amount of work, available to additional industry participants. The needs of that industry are a little bit different. The regulations are higher, the bar in data protection is higher. We are bringing what we know about that industry to bear in the context of cloud computing.”
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IBM is also ensuring that stringent security measures are being enforced so as to bring a highly sensitive industry like the financial sector to the Cloud. The first step is providing assistance to ISVs and financial institutions to help them define and monitor their security and compliance postures. Further, the company will also leverage automation to help firms effectively deploy and manage security and compliance controls in the public cloud. This will be done with the help of a reference architecture provided by IBM. Lastly, IBM is utilizing hardware-based enclaves to ensure that only the organization has access to the keys for its data. This provides an extra cushion for data security as organizations can be certain that not even IBM has access to their unencrypted data.
The Road Ahead
Lastly, coming to the next phase of IBM’s financial services ready public Cloud, the company recently announced its plans of global expansion. Hunter spoke about the same and stated, “the financial services industry stewards the data of millions of customers, being able to take that context and translate it into doing high-value transactions — sensitive and consumer data computing with all the benefits of elasticity and the value proposition of different deployment locations — is really what financial cloud is all about.”
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