Online Cloud Banking and the Organizational Inertia

Juha Holkkola

Online Cloud Banking

Having spent this last week at the Cloud Connect event in Silicon Valley, I have had a number of interesting discussions with people involved with various aspects of cloud computing. While industry analysts such as Gartner and IDC are projecting that 80% of all servers running on native hardware are expected to be virtualized by 2020, many service provider and media representatives I’ve spoken with continue to be a little skeptical as far as these projections are concerned.

From a technical standpoint, the development effort by industry bellwethers like Cisco, IBM and HP has significantly accelerated the technological development in this space. Based on what I have seen at Cloud Connect and in the course of our daily work, I am confident that the underlying solutions will be ready to hit the mainstream by the end of 2013. Having said that, to meet the growth projections made by the analyst community, finalizing the facilitating technology stacks is not enough.

Over the last couple of months, our team conducted a vendor survey with 102 service providers around the world. Although there is still some work to do as far as technologies are concerned, I think perhaps the most interesting finding was that the biggest obstacle holding service providers back in their cloud and data center automation efforts is organizational inertia, not technology. In retrospect, this is of course logical, because large shifts like this also require changes on the organizational level.

Retail banking is another industry that has gone through a similar change, By now, most of us are used to doing the majority of our banking online, without the need to visit our local branch or to contact a designated representative to complete daily transactions. For banks this has required significant organizational changes involving cut-backs at the individual branches and increases in the size of the workforce managing the technology platforms that make online banking possible. Ultimately, this has made banking a lot more convenient for the average user, while providing the banking institutions with operational efficiencies.

Amidst all the hype, it is easy to forget that cloud computing is really not about technology. Rather, what the cloud promises us all is a new way to consume applications without having to give any thought to the underlying technologies. That translates to cost efficiencies, ease of use and self-service IT, based on process automation. When one thinks about all the companies using IT as an integral part of their operations, it becomes obvious that the impact of cloud computing will affect pretty much all industries, ultimately helping consumers to get more for less.

With an upside of this magnitude, it is no wonder that Service Providers and IT departments around the world are thinking about ways to benefit from this opportunity. Before embarking on this journey, however, most of these organizations would be well-advised to take a good look at their organizational structures. In traditional computing, various specialist teams have been working in silos, focusing on different areas of computing such as applications, databases, servers and networking. To enable end-to-end automation that spans across all these functions, organizational changes will likely be necessary.

To decide whether or not your own organization is ready for the change, here is a quick check-list:

1. Has the cloud computing initiative been made a strategic priority in the organization?

As people in IT departments always have a number of items on their to-do list, making cloud computing a priority across the organization is key to success. Unless everyone in the organization appreciates the strategic importance, coordinating efforts between different teams will become difficult and the momentum will be lost.

2. Have you named a sponsor who is senior enough to push the initiative through?

Resistance to change is natural. To make sure that the strategic cloud computing initiative is not derailed through politics, the initiative must be headed by a respected senior member of the organization whose judgement other people will trust. Ability to build trust between cross-functional teams is also a great asset.

3. Have you thoroughly assessed the make or buy aspects of cloud computing?

Since cloud computing is all about end-to-end automation and efficiency, a natural reaction within an IT department is to start securing bases by driving the cloud initiative towards home-grown or highly customized technical solutions provided by systems integrators. While this approach can be justified in select service provisioning environments, for most enterprises spending time and/or resources on developing IT systems in-house – or paying someone else to do that on customized basis is a waste of time and money. There are ample cloud computing and automation solutions available that can help your organization in meeting its requirements, making job security the only real driver for home-grown tweaks.

By Juha Holkkola

Episode 2: Coronavirus Phishing Emails and Work-from-Home Meetings

Coronavirus Phishing Emails What to watch out for as scammers exploit pandemic panic, and tips ...

Episode 1: Why Small and Medium Sized Businesses Need an MSP

Small and Medium Sized Businesses Need an MSP Small and medium-sized businesses don’t enjoy the ...

Episode 5: How the Pandemic is Changing Business and the Cloud

An Interview with Ed Dryer of Steadfast With the global pandemic wreaking havoc on business ...
François Amigorena

SMB’s perceptions of Cloud Storage Security

Data Storage Security The use of cloud storage is on the increase. However, SMBs are still suspicious about it. Actually, 61% of SMBs believe their ...
Bigcommerce

Magento 1 Is Nearing Its End – Is It Time To Migrate To BigCommerce?

Time To Migrate To BigCommerce? Nearly three years ago, Magento declared that they would be ending support for their Magento 1 software. All versions of ...
Miha Kralj

SaaS Native – Design, Delivery and Management of Applications

Going cloud native, the right way Moving from a traditional IT organization to one that’s cloud native is an inevitability for all businesses. This is ...
Bill Talbot

How IT Operations Can Survive and Thrive in a Multi-cloud World

IT Operations Can Thrive in a Multi-cloud World IT operations teams are contending with the reality that growing volumes of workloads are running across multiple ...
Employees Digital

A Winning Data Strategy Series Part 1: Off to a Faulty Start

A Winning Data Strategy Series This is the first piece of a 5-part series on plugging the obvious but overlooked gaps in achieving digital success ...
Kaylamatthews

What Amazon’s Kendra Means for the AI and Machine Learning Future

Amazon's Kendra Learning Future Most people feel a bit astounded when they type a query into Google and get relevant results in milliseconds. They're probably ...
Armen Najarian

Martech: Brand Marketing is the New Demand Generation

Martech: Brand Marketing First, An Apology Sorry, demand generation professionals. We still love you and your jobs aren’t going away. But, as you are well aware, the ...
Atman Rathod

UX Design in the Age of DevOps: Transformation Through Collaboration

UX Design in the Age of DevOps DevOps is popular among modern IT strategists because it leaves no scope for lapses in the development process ...
Will Crump

The Key to a Successful M&A = Data

Successful M&A = Data Data is often the single point of failure for many organizations. Divestitures, privatization, leveraged buyouts, and management buyouts are all on ...
Big Data Explosion

Developing Machine Learning-based Approach for Optimizing Virtual Agent (VA) Training

Optimizing Virtual Agent (VA) Training Achieve NLU model’s precision, recall & accuracy up to 78% The success of any Virtual Agent (VA) depends on the ...