In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture Cloud Readiness Report for Banking benchmarks the progress banks are making to adopt cloud.
  • Find out why they need to be moving faster to avoid disruption, innovate, compete and grow.
  • See key priorities and steps banks should be taking now to realize cloud benefits sooner.

With many banks facing flat growth, pressure on margins, and weakening customer satisfaction, timely cloud adoption offers a lifeline. It could give banks the elasticity to meet changing demands, develop new applications faster, add online services quickly and help improve customer experience.

But despite those benefits, Accenture’s most recent survey of leading global banks around cloud computing reveals that many players still lack a comprehensive strategy for cloud adoption. Of the banks surveyed:


have no cloud strategy or have only started implementing basic cloud practices


have no road map with key performance indicators to measure progress to cloud

The need for speed

The findings show that while banks are exploring cloud’s potential as a business-building tool, they are not moving fast enough to avoid potential disruption. Cloud operations differ significantly from traditional IT operations and banks should be ready. Furthermore, the transition isn’t possible without cloud-native skills, new organizational approaches and cultural changes.

What’s required is a clear cloud strategy with detailed plans and timelines to develop the skills and operating model to accommodate cloud adoption at scale throughout the organization, while also fulfilling vital security and compliance requirements.

Our survey has also shown that a few banks have already made significant progress in reaping the benefits of the cloud. A quarter of the banks surveyed (26 percent) are well ahead of their peers in their journey to cloud. Based on a “cloud readiness score” which we calculated from the survey data, these “leaders” show a total score of 84 percent compared to 59 percent for the remaining banks.

We also used this scoring model to develop a “cloud readiness diagnostic,” a simple and pragmatic tool, which banks could use to gauge their level of maturity in transitioning to the cloud, as well as measure how they compare to the survey benchmark.

With this approach in place, banks are expected to be well-placed to prioritize modernization, the timely transfer of legacy applications to cloud platforms and addition of new ones, creating the organizational flexibility and efficiency to compete, innovate and grow—at speed and scale.

Four steps to fast-track transition

Based on our findings, the report identifies four key priorities to accelerate your cloud journey.

  1. Grab quick wins. First migrate your most cloud-ready applications, then analyze how the cloud can best support innovation.
  2. Invest in skills. Build the core cloud-native skills for cloud management, especially in applications and infrastructure.
  3. Transform processes and tools. Develop the capabilities to sustain comprehensive cloud production services at scale.
  4. Turn strategy into action. Commit to a methodical transition plan, road map and cloud-ready IT operating model.
To compete in the digital age with customer-facing applications to drive growth, banks should accelerate their transition to the cloud. Yet many still lack a cloud strategy or coherent, comprehensive plans for adding cloud applications and infrastructure.

Cloud adoption in action

Across Financial Services, Accenture is working with world-leading banks to help accelerate cloud adoption.

Improving time to market, Asia-Pacific
Constrained by 40 years of legacy IT, this Asia-Pacific bank implemented a multi-provider cloud model. It cut costs for IT infrastructure, software development and provisioning by 40 percent, while reducing time to market for new applications and services by four to six weeks.

Simplifying M&A integration, North America
After a decade of mergers and acquisitions, this North American bank had complex, disparate and costly IT. A greenfield transformation approach gave it the agility, flexibility and efficiencies to create new digital products and services, and compete with young, web-scale companies.

Accelerate your cloud journey

The data for the report was gathered in November and December 2017 through a survey of 35 global retail banking executives about their cloud strategies. Detailed analysis of the findings offers invaluable insights so you can benchmark your bank’s cloud capabilities against those of other industry players to inform and accelerate your own cloud journey.

While every bank’s cloud strategy will be unique, the goal is the same: to enhance the ability to overcome legacy constraints in order to innovate at speed, compete more effectively and drive growth in the digital age.

Are you ready to accelerate to the cloud?

About the Authors

Sushil Saluja

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Financial Services Europe

John (Jack) Sepple

Senior Managing Director – Group Technology Officer, Accenture Operations

Alan McIntyre

Senior Managing Director – Banking

Andrew Poppleton

Senior Managing Director – Financial Services Technology Advisory

Siki Giunta

Managing Director – Accenture Cloud

Schira Lillis

Director – Accenture Research, Financial Services


Moving to the Cloud for Banking in Europe
Moving to the Cloud for Banking in North America

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