As cloud providers have matured, however, the reluctance to use cloud computing resources has eased. Most financial firms have now added cloud resources to their IT mix and are achieving significant benefits as a result.
Compute and storage resources can be scaled to match demand, and overheads associated with on-premise system management can be reduced. The result is that greater benefits can be derived from constrained technology budgets.
In many cases, financial firms are now making use of multiple cloud providers. Matching particular workloads to particular clouds ensures there is no single point of failure and that maximum performance can be achieved at all times.
While making use of multiple cloud platforms can deliver significant business benefits, it also introduces a higher level of technical complexity. IT teams need to monitor resources running in different locations and ensure they perform together as a cohesive whole.
Unfortunately, the often-manual management that is required can prevent IT teams from investing time in more innovative activities.
These teams are clearly in need of a more sustainable approach to managing cloud environments. This will then free up time that can be reinvested into driving digital transformation and delivering the high-quality financial services experiences that customers are seeking.
Having time available for innovation is critical for financial firms that are operating in an increasingly competitive market. Existing incumbents are feeling pressure from new entrants that are offering innovative services to clients.
Any firm that fails to evolve its customer offerings will lose out to others that do. Customers will vote with their wallets and shift to a more nimble competitor.
To be able to deliver compelling customer experiences, financial firms need to manage their IT infrastructures more effectively. To do this, they need to have clear, end-to-end visibility of their increasingly complex multi-cloud environments.
Unfortunately, however, this visibility is not easy to achieve. Each new cloud platform comes with its own native monitoring solution, such as Amazon CloudWatch or Azure Monitor, which adds another source of data for IT teams to analyse.
This results in IT teams becoming inundated by data and being forced to spend more and more time manually piecing together insights.
This, in turn, reduces the amount of time they have to spend on more innovative activities that add real value to the business. It’s a situation that has to change.
The benefits of automation
To overcome these challenges, financial institutions need to empower IT teams with a more intelligent approach to infrastructure monitoring. By harnessing artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps), IT teams can automate many of their currently manual processes.
This approach helps to eliminate blind spots by continuously discovering and instrumenting multi-cloud infrastructures as the overall environment changes. As a result, teams can maintain end-to-end visibility without needing to invest time and effort in laborious manual processes.
AIOps can also help IT teams to triage alerts and more easily identify those which require closer examination. Problems can then be addressed before they cause any disruption.
An AIOps strategy can also help IT teams to better understand the cause of any issues within their multi-cloud environments. These issues can then be prioritised according to their predicted impact on the business.
Seamless service delivery
Adopting a multi-cloud strategy can be a powerful way for financial firms to improve the levels of customer service they can deliver. This will become increasingly important as the number of new entrants into the sector continues to grow.
By making use of automation tools to free up IT teams, firms can focus on delivering compelling products that set them apart from the competition. Seamless service delivery will no longer be a goal but become a business reality.
Hope Powers, vice president ANZ, Dynatrace