In brief

In brief

  • Banks have been migrating incrementally, and today the average bank has 58 percent of its workloads in the cloud—mostly in private cloud centers.
  • Many banking CEOs today believe if they had been more in the public cloud, the last few months would have been a lot easier.
  • The cloud will be both transformational and disruptive post-COVID-19, offering banks improved scalability, efficiency, agility and security.
  • Cloud maturity is becoming a hallmark of the world’s best-performing banks.

Banking models under pressure for radical change

COVID-19 has given new urgency to the banking cloud imperative. Within a few short weeks the scalability, resilience, flexibility and accessibility of public cloud looked a lot more attractive, as banks sought to manage uncertainty and pivot to a different operating model.

As banking executives assess that potential new landscape, together with the strong performance of the public cloud during the past few months, a typical conclusion is that it’s time to ramp up their banking enterprise cloud strategy.

Arguing the case for cloud in banking

For the cloud evangelists, public cloud was the answer to banks’ quest for secure, personalized and seamless omnichannel customer experiences, powered by internal and external data. It enabled self-service, incorporated the best third-party products, was compliant by design and generated returns that exceed the cost of capital.

But the skeptics weren’t so sure; they cited security concerns, regulatory ambiguity, potential competitive issues with the largest cloud service providers and the seductive economics of fully depreciated data centers. The debate continues, but the evangelists have gradually gained the upper hand: Cloud investment has grown strongly in recent years and is forecast to continue at 15 percent a year between now and 2022.


of our top 20 banking clients have a multi-cloud strategy


are committed to a single-provider strategy

Multi-cloud fits the bill for banks

More than half of our top banking clients have adopted a multi-cloud strategy. We believe that, to an increasing degree, this suits the requirements of most banks. Key benefits include:

Best-of-breed service

Ability to use the right solution for every need.

Autonomy & agility

Freedom for each business and IT unit to use the platform of its choice.


Regulatory compliance

Selection of cloud providers on the basis of banks’ data-residency requirements.

Cost reduction

Ability to leverage the most cost-effective provider at any given time.

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Separating the best from the rest

The pandemic has provided an unexpected opportunity to contrast the performance of cloud-based technology versus legacy technology. Accenture’s experience of helping large banks move their applications to the cloud is that it typically delivers impressive benefits:


cut in operational costs


shorter time to market


quicker provisioning speed

Added to this are the often more important benefits of cost variability, enterprise agility, an enhanced customer experience and support for both compliance and innovation.

We welcome your feedback on this report. Request a meeting and one of our subject-matter experts will contact you to discuss your cloud strategy in more depth.

To learn more about Accenture’s cloud capabilities, read our recent announcement.

Accenture is investing $3 billion over the next three years to enable our clients to rapidly become CLOUD FIRST businesses.

About the Authors

Alan McIntyre

Senior Industry Director – Banking

Andrew Starrs

Group Technology Lead – Banking

Kamran Ikram

Managing Director – Technology Strategy & Advisory

Brent Smolinski

Managing Director – Head of Cloud and Innovation

Rajeev Nair

Managing Director – Accenture Technology, Financial Services


Banking Cloud Altimeter, a Cloud First publication
Cloud outcomes survey: Expectation vs. reality
Cloud ascent