Financial services organizations in the UK getting ready for a smarter, digital future

New research finds financial services organizations are using more cloud-based services to transform the ways they operate and serve customers.

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Aryaka commissioned a research project to understand the technology investments and digital maturity of financial services organizations across the UK. The study focused on 250 IT and business decision makers at companies with over 50 employees and average IT procurement budgets of £8 million per year.

Key Takeaway

The research shows that a vast majority of the surveyed companies are laying the foundation for a smarter, digital future and to transform the ways they operate and serve their customers. The research also reveals that skills shortages and security barriers are standing in the way of the digital transformation of the sector. This makes it clear that companies are in need for help by trusted IT partners to achieve their desired business results.

Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, commented on the survey results as follows:

“Financial services are clearly aware of the need for digital transformation, are rightly enthusiastic about the opportunities new digital technologies can deliver and are using more cloud-based and digital services than ever before. This shift towards placing a greater reliance on trusted third parties is freeing up IT teams to focus on activities that can deliver comprehensive business change. However, it’s important that these changes are underpinned by a rock-solid foundation of security, and that financial services have the right skills and partners in place to support their ongoing transformations – and the research confirms there’s work yet to do on that front.”

Digital transformation taking hold in Financial Services

The results leave no doubts that the UK financial services sector is embracing a digital-first mindset. Over three quarters (78%) state that they have already or are implementing a Digital Transformation strategy, 12% have plans to have one in the 12 months, and another 8% in the next 24 months.

Financial services embracing Digital Transformation

Cloud-based services use is accelerating and fueling next-gen technology adoption

Almost all companies (96%) currently use cloud-based services and the vast majority (87%) expect to increase their usage over the next 12 months. Within three years, the amount spent on cloud infrastructure (18%) is set to surpass that spent on on-premise (11%) as financial services businesses decommission legacy technologies and embrace new more innovative ways of working.

Cost savings and the scalability and agility of cloud are the biggest drivers of cloud adoption in financial services.

Drivers for Cloud Adoption

And, around half of financial services organizations believe that IoT (46%) blockchain (48%) and AI (50%) will be critical or very important for them in the next five years.

Blockchain, AI & IoT

Barriers to adoption

Despite clear enthusiasm for digital transformation and next generation technologies, all financial services respondents identified barriers to their adoption of some sort. Several respondents cited concerns about skills and security, though other barriers drew back to the newness of the technologies and a lack of clarity around ROI.

Many organizations will require greater assistance from the vendor and channel community to safely embrace next generation technologies

Cloud Adoption barriers

The path forward for digital-first minded enterprises

This research demonstrates that now is a crucial time for the UK’s financial services sector to move to the cloud.  The reasons for doing this are clear. Previously encumbered by legacy technology, the UK’s financial services sector now sees the cloud as providing the scalability it needs, agility without compromising reliability, significant cost-savings, and the ability to test new and innovative technologies. However, it is critical that the move to the cloud does not compromise security, as well as regulatory and compliance requirements.

Furthermore, as businesses the world over implement digital transformation strategies, today’s digital-first minded enterprises, must consider following on their path forward:

  1. Be able to deliver global connectivity over a software-defined private network.
  2. Access cloud and data center applications fast, from anywhere in the world.
  3. Deploy anywhere in the world in hours.
  4. Protect data, applications, and users across edge, core, and cloud.

Aryaka’s global managed SD-WAN service offers enterprises of all types, financial institutions included, the required operational simplicity, application performance optimization, security, multi-cloud connectivity, and visibility for successful WAN transformation.

Learn more and take the first step to a smarter, digital future

Contact us to learn how Aryaka can help your organization to succeed in a cloud-first world.

Download the full report Cloud in Financial Services – the next generation.

Learn about the Cloud Industry Forum.

About the author

Klaus Schwegler
Klaus is a Director of Marketing in Aryaka’s Product and Solution Marketing team. He has over 25 years of experience in the networking, data center, and semiconductor industries with positions held in product and solutions marketing, integrated programs marketing, customer service, and business development. Previous roles included with Equinix, Cisco, Philips Lumileds, Infineon, and Mitsubishi Electronics. He holds a B.SC degree from HfWU Nuertingen-Geislingen in Business Administration - Automotive & Management.