In part 1 of this three-part series on the capital markets industry and the cloud, we talked about overall value. In the second part, we discussed managing and optimizing. Now it’s time to talk more specifically about how to reach your cloud destination.
Typically, a venture into cloud begins by building product-mapping functions into different areas of an investment bank’s business model. At Accenture, we develop a roadmap of services that can help your C-Suite and board determine how the organization would operate in the future.
A successful journey to cloud often comprises a series of key steps and specific services:
Value-led strategy: beginning with a value-led strategy. This planning phase uses the business strategy to shape the direction of IT, taking advantage of cloud to increase shareholder and business value.
Infrastructure assessment and planning: Having a clear understanding of the current IT estate helps capital markets firms plan and prepare for cloud platforms and infrastructure deployment programs including PaaS and IaaS.
Cloud application migration assessment and planning: This phase is essential to create an inventory of legacy applications, assess a bank’s portfolio and ask a number of critical questions:
What do we migrate, and what stays on legacy?
Do we need to build new applications?
What type of environment do we need to create?
No less important, banks need to consider the cost/benefit ratio of application modernization. The alternative—building cloud-native solutions from scratch, or consuming SaaS—may prove more beneficial than a rebuild.
Public or private? There’s no uniform solution
Levels of public cloud adoption among banks vary widely—from none at all to early proof of concepts to a few production workloads on the public cloud. However, public cloud adoption within large, global institutions suggests the debate over public is over, and that it will be part of the fabric of investment banks going forward. According to Accenture research,1 six in 10 capital markets institutions say cloud-based entrants will challenge traditional business models. The question for those operating within capital markets is how quickly they will be able to respond—particularly considering the complex legacy architectures on which many large banks still rely.
The non-technical aspects of the journey to cloud are equally important
Although most cloud discussions start with a technology focus, the operating model is a critical linchpin of success because it encompasses people, processes, tools and governance. Because cloud solutions are non-uniform in nature, a “one-size-fits-all” operating model will not suffice. Rather, banks need to consider that multispeed operating models will co-exist for years to come, while people, processes and tools remain interoperable.
The right operating model is the key to achieving increased agility, technology operating efficiencies—and reducing infrastructure costs. As a starting point, Accenture has a vigorous Cloud Operating Model framework that has been tuned for investment banks.
Accenture’s Cloud Operating Model is more than an organization chart or a process framework. It’s a holistic guide consisting of seven components that articulate how work gets done.
Functions: How we organize ourselves to deliver services
Processes: How we execute the work
Interfaces: How we interact to deliver consistent services
Governance: How we make, sponsor and enforce the right decisions
Roles & Organization Structure: Who is accountable for doing the work
Performance Metrics: How we measure effectiveness
Tools: What enabling technology we use to deliver productivity and agility to service execution
Modernization and re-engineering
Clearly, cloud adoption has its benefits, but attaining these benefits requires material modernization and re-engineering of bank applications—most of which were built for traditional, on-premise platforms. However, the application modernization process itself prepares banks for a state of cloud resilience or “nativeness.” Application modernization also facilitates the transition toward microservices, as well as technology and design pattern re-use—which can reduce technical debt and increase agility.
Typically, we see larger investment firms moving to a multi-cloud environment while smaller firms take a single cloud provider approach. Despite size, however, each company should consider which operating model and cloud management platform is most appropriate for its business.
Accenture has the experience and capabilities and is at the forefront of developing financial services cloud solutions to guide our clients at the pace of innovation on their journey to cloud.
Read Accenture's full point of view on this topic: What's driving capital markets to the cloud?
1 “Accelerating the Journey to Cloud, Top 10 Challenges for Investment Banks—2017,” Accenture, 2017. Access at: https://www.accenture.com/t20170111T213812__w__/usen/_acnmedia/Accenture/Designlogic/16-3360/documents/Ac-centure-2017-Top-10-Challenges-07-Cloud.pdf