The BFSI ecosystem has been evolving rapidly – customer expectations are reaching newer heights; fintech companies are challenging conventional financial businesses with their innovations; and commercial objectives are changing at a rapid pace.
In such a dynamic environment, what differentiates successful banks and financial services providers from the rest is their ability to pivot swiftly, thanks to digital transformation. Some of these leading financial institutions began their digital journey years ago and the pandemic only accelerated that transformation. And they realize digital transformation is not a destination but a continuous journey, thus keep reinventing themselves to stay ahead.
The On-Prem vs Cloud Debate:
Financial institutions have historically preferred on-prem and private cloud-based IT infrastructure to that built upon public clouds and cloud services. However, industry’s leading institutions are now striking a balance between on-prem and cloud, switching over to hybrid software-defined infrastructure. So they can leverage the power of modern cloud and SaaS applications, while finding ways to efficiently work with, and modernize, the legacy and traditional x86 applications.
Here are some of the benefits that financial institutions can reap with a hybrid infrastructure:
1. Improve customer experience
Improving customer experience is among the top strategic priorities of financial institutions. Superior customer experience not only keeps the customers happy but also encourage them to act in a way that benefits your business. Apart from continuing the relationship, a delighted customer often acts as an evangelist and advocate and bring in new customers to help your business grow.
Cloud-native business applications are clearly the way forward. While most modern critical applications are cloud-native, BFSI organizations are still dependent on traditional x86 applications for a lot of critical activities. With the cloud-based infrastructure in place, your software engineers can create, test, and deploy modern cloud-native customer-first applications. But you must also find ways to enhance the performance of your traditional x86 applications, which is what hybrid infrastructure allows you to do. A robust hybrid infrastructure enables your engineers to move the traditional applications steadily to cloud, or improve their performances by incorporating cloud efficiencies.
2. Become more agile than ever
With increased focus on digitization across the globe, disruptive financial services and products are popping up on a regular basis. So, if you want to be relevant in the modern-day business environment, it is important for you to be agile enough to meet the fluctuating demands of the market by being able to build and scale quickly.
Virtual desktop infrastructure is one of the strongest means of achieving agility and scalability. You can onboard new users securely and quickly from wherever they are. But is it internet-dependent which can prevent you from serving remote geographies with weak internet. To be able to serve a variety of markets across geographies, you need a solid hybrid foundation with a good mix of on-prem environment, which is not fully internet-dependent. Thus, a hybrid infrastructure makes you truly agile.
3. Optimize IT expenses and improve IT efficiency
With an ever-growing IT infrastructure, there comes an ever-growing need for expertise (and perceived expenses) to maintain it. Very often you would find IT administrators getting lost in mundane administrative tasks, instead of getting involved in more valuable tasks.
With a cloud environment you will be able to automate all repetitive mundane tasks such as endpoint maintenance, software and OS upgrades, data backup, disaster recovery etc. and allow your IT teams to be more involved in critical business activities. On the other hand, on-prem environment of the hybrid infrastructure allows you to retain optimal control over your resources. Thus, hybrid infrastructure provides you with the best of both worlds.
4. Strengthen the security posture
Financial institutions often perceive innovation and security as two contrasting entities. In your digital transformation journey, you might often find your IT security playing catch up, as you thrive for agility and performance.
The hybrid infrastructure must work on zero-trust principles, making it inherently more secure. In the zero-trust model, conventional perimeter-based security becomes irrelevant and every access request is evaluated before being addressed. Thus, a well- planned and well-deployed hybrid infrastructure sets the security foundation for hyper-growth and agility. It shields your business from all types of security threats and paves the way for seamless compliance.
To sum up, a hybrid IT infrastructure enables financial institutions to achieve accelerated business growth by becoming secure and agile while still improving customer experience and reducing costs.