Here’s how to simplify your cloud implementation today

Business News | 24 Sep |


For any bank that’s built the foundation of its business using on-site data centers, the idea of moving all major digital assets, IT resources, and applications to the cloud is a nerve-wracking one. Though bankers recognize the need to keep up with an increasingly digitally driven consumer environment, they have all the right to worry about what’s at stake when they move to the cloud. Will the process be worth the growing pains, or will it induce a business disruption that’ll be hard to recover from?

As you may have suspected, it won’t be enough to simply move to the cloud and assume that everything will immediately get better for your bank. For the migration process to be a successful one, you will need to pace the transition carefully and purposefully. To that end, here’s a briefer on how to simplify what is widely acknowledged as an inherently difficult and taxing process. This article will introduce an alternative to breakneck cloud migrations and give you insight on how you can comfortably move your systems, workflow, and operation of retail banking products to a new cloud solution.

Completing a Digital Banking Transformation: No Longer a Game of Extremes

Given how much it’s contributed to the digital dexterity of institutions like banks, it’s easy for some companies to see cloud migration as something of a magic bullet. For sure, there are many benefits to it that will demonstrate themselves in the long run. Some of the gains that banks can expect from a successful transition are heightened efficiency with resources, streamlined workflows from branch to branch, and lowered IT costs.

But not every cloud implementation goes exactly according to plan, and one thing that’s not often talked about when it comes to cloud migration is the strain it can cause on businesses. Transitions that require client organizations to follow a steep learning curve, endure a total core system overhaul, or undergo a one-time, large-scale migration of resources can be particularly painful, time-consuming, and expensive. By the time the ordeal is over, banking staff may question whether it was all worth it. But is this scenario the only alternative to sticking with the status quo? Will banks that balk at speedy and massive cloud migrations be doomed to obsolescence in favor of their “techier” peers?

Thankfully, the answer is no. With the right cloud solutions provider, cloud implementation will no longer be a game of extremes. That’s a good thing, since organizations as complex as banks will benefit more from a gradual and componentized approach to migration. A good vendor will know that and offer their client bank options for simple, phase-by-phase cloud implementation.

How to Achieve Simple and Effective Step-by-Step Cloud Implementation

A smooth and well-paced cloud migration will require vigilant oversight from the bank’s leaders. Knowing that, here are four steps you can take as a major overseer of your bank’s cloud migration.

Upgrade Your Technology

First, assess your bank’s current tech stack and see which applications are nearing their end of life (EOL). A survey of relevant and near-obsolete applications will give you proper insight on what tech your bank needs to refresh before it makes the big move to the cloud.

Enter the Preparation Phase for Your Full Migration to the Cloud

Next, you and your fellow stakeholders need to facilitate greater readiness for a cloud transition. Coordinate with your software vendor about testing your non-production environments, backing up your data, and building a new primary data center for your bank on the cloud. Checking off on these tasks will prepare you for the hardest step in this process: moving your bank’s production data and core business functions to a cloud environment.

Move Your Core Banking Capabilities to the Cloud in Small Clusters

Once you’ve done the preparations listed in the step above, you and your provider can embark on the gradual process of moving your core banking capabilities to the cloud. It’s best if you move these in small clusters so that there’s room to get familiar with cloud-based operations, and so that your staff doesn’t get overwhelmed with the change in their workflow.

Discuss a strategy and timeline for moving core banking services to the cloud. For example, you can prioritize transitioning to cloud-based payment services first. Your bank’s credit and loan programs, on the other hand, can follow after.

Monitor Your Successes on the Cloud

The work doesn’t stop after you’ve met each implementation deadline. Once you and your staff have truly settled into your new cloud environment, keep tabs on how well things are working out for you. You can use the analytics capabilities on your cloud solution to track improvements in customer enrollment, loan payments, and upselling of premium banking products after you’ve migrated to the cloud. Then, you can work on making further improvements to decrease the friction in your customers’ cloud-driven banking experiences.  

Take comfort in the fact that your bank’s cloud implementation is not a race. You will only be truly up to speed with your competitors if you go at a pace that is healthy for your organization. Opt for a simpler, more gradual approach when moving to the cloud—because that approach is likely the one that will allow you to maximize the benefits of modernizing your bank.

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