The cloud has become a fixture in our lives. Every day, we use it to store documents and files, access entertainment and work applications, collaborate remotely, and much more. In fact, the cloud has become essential for everyone, especially companies from all industries.
That’s why it’s no surprise to learn that financial institutions are enjoying the numerous benefits of cloud computing solutions. By making this technology a pivotal part of their operations, financial companies are revamping their whole businesses, reaping everything from cost savings to security.
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There’s so much that the cloud can do for financial institutions that it begs the question: Why and how can financial services and institutions leverage the cloud?
This is one of the most basic yet effective uses for the cloud: it provides storage space for a variety of files. And for financial institutions and organizations that have vast quantities of data to manage, it’s an especially effective tool.
After all, these organizations and businesses need to hold onto consumer and client information, as well as their own, for years and years. Chances are, they would exceed the limitations of their servers pretty quickly. Cloud solutions offer much stronger storage capabilities and are far easier to maintain, given that everything is kept on remote servers.
If you’ve used the cloud before — and it’s highly likely you have — you know that it offers convenience. People can access services and applications anywhere with an internet connection. Some even enable offline access.
In finance, this is helpful for both employees and clients. Employees can pull up and collaborate on important files and documents on the go, while clients can access services, including their files and banking information, from remote locations.
Accessibility is also a part of offering optimal customer service. But financial institutions and organizations can better serve their customers in myriad other ways, too. For example, businesses are able to gather insights on consumer behavior to understand their needs and wants and then better serve them according to this information, creating new, innovative concepts that match their interests.
Many widely-used platforms are cloud-based, such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Using these types of platforms, financial businesses can better target customers with marketing and sales initiatives. They can also respond to customer issues more quickly by tapping into cloud resources and solving problems at a distance.
Many cloud platforms offer extensive reporting, analytics, and other data to inform business strategies. Not only can businesses learn more about their customers, but they’ll also be able to see how their applications and other tools are performing. This allows businesses to make quicker decisions backed by real data, as well as improve the inner-workings of their organizations.
There are dedicated cloud analytics platforms specifically for gathering these insights, but financial institutions can also obtain this information from other cloud platforms like CRM or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
All businesses are searching for ways to spend less and reduce costs, and finance is no different. By saving on pivotal internal and external platforms and resources, financial institutions are able to dedicate funds to other areas of their business.
Cloud platforms are often subscription-based, like software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, which means companies only need to pay for the software they’re using for as long as they need it. In fact, they won’t need to pay licensing fees or for extensive upkeep.
Security is a pivotal concern in the financial industry. Financial institutions are privy to sensitive customer data and are responsible for keeping it protected. Frankly, at a time when data breaches and cybercrime are increasing rather than decreasing, they’re right to be anxious.
The cloud offers better security than keeping records and information elsewhere, including on personal devices. Cloud servers are highly protected and secure, curtailing risks and attacks on their systems, using technology like AI to identify suspicious activity.
This is also an important guard against losing information. That’s because data is being stored in an external environment that’s routinely backed up.
Financial institutions grow and evolve. They attain new customers and sometimes lose established ones. As their base changes in size, their needs for services change, too. The cloud can help them adjust. Cloud-based solutions like CRM platforms can be scaled with the business.
Even if they start off small, they could well expand over time. A static database or application may not be able to adjust to accommodate their needs, but a cloud-based platform is flexible in its parameters. When using a subscription model, this may mean simply adjusting their subscription to add new users, resources, or services.
Cloud technology is not a backup strategy — it’s the primary strategy for financial services and institutions. Offering solutions like improved security, storage, scalability, and cost savings, the cloud is an optimal way to improve banking services and keep businesses running smoothly and efficiently, all while meeting the needs of clients and customers.