Many industries have begun to invest in cloud computing solutions, but what about finance? Although financial firms do have to navigate additional regulations in regards to IT and security, the benefits of using cloud computing are worth it. As with most industries, financial companies see significant savings from using a cloud-based infrastructure.
Furthermore, cloud computing pays off in terms of savings, efficiency, access, flexibility and security.
Savings: Overall, financial companies that use cloud-based computing solutions save money. One reason for this is that they no longer require an in-house IT team, which means you are spending less money on not only employee salaries, but also benefits, and on human resources because there is less to manage. Cloud computing solutions also generally costs less to upgrade than their software counterparts, so money is saved here too. Cloud services also are more cost efficient simply because they benefit from economies of scale. They offer myriad features as part of their typical setup; the same features would typically cost extra in a traditional software environment.
Efficiency: This goes hand-in-hand with savings because more efficient solutions consume fewer resources and thus cost less. Firms that use cloud computing benefit when it comes to training employees on how to use the system. Employees can be trained once and have their experience apply at any level or location within the company. Plus, cloud computing doesn’t have a very steep learning curve, so training goes quickly. Upgrades are also more efficient in a cloud-based environment because updates can be applied simultaneously to the entire system, resulting in less downtime and also in less IT labor (since no one needs to manually install upgrades on individual machines).
Access: Perhaps one of the greatest perks to cloud computing is access. Users can reach the same information whether they’re on Wall Street or in Warsaw, and the data they access is updated in real time. The cloud is available 24/7, which means that time zones are also no impediment to access. This makes cloud computing ideal for multi-national companies, or any firm with more than one location. Employees can access the data they need wherever and whenever they need it.
Flexibility: The cloud is highly flexible and is able to scale to the needs of most any business. This means that if your firm starts out small, but uses a cloud-based network, when that company expands, there is nearly zero lag time between having a fully operational system in the new location. This means that massive or tiny organizations can benefit from the cloud in whatever way is most appropriate for their business.
Security: Although some conflate cloud computing with a lack of security, cloud-based systems are extremely secure. This stereotype is based on consumer cloud services, which do not have the same protections in place as an enterprise system. One of the biggest benefits to security is that the cloud acts as a backup; all the data is safely in the cloud in case anything happens to the physical business. For example, during Hurricane Sandy, many firms in the North East were essentially destroyed, but their data was safely in the cloud, allowing them to seamlessly resume operations. Cloud systems are also more secure for small firms than other systems. This is because cloud computing offers the same level of security to smaller companies as it does to massive, multi-national corporations.
So, is a cloud computing system going to be the next IT solution for your financial company? With its unparalleled access and flexibility, a high level of security and an amazing return on investment, cloud computing is a great choice for anyone in the financial sector.
John Gower is a writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping you save money with financial tips on everything from tech trends to scoring a good cd rate.