IBM introduces IBM Cloud for Financial Services

For financial services, the biggest challenge in their journey to the cloud is ensuring they meet various regulatory and compliance requirements. Be it a bank, a fintech company or even an insurance firm, compared to other industries, the number of regulations they have to adhere to can be a lot more complicated. This is because of the sensitivity of the data they are dealing with.
 
For years, banks and other FSIs have been developing their own applications on their own infrastructure. The demand for better customer experience, digitalised operations, risk reduction and gaining competitive advantage requires applications to be developed, managed and run efficiently. The cloud has proven to be a business enabler to solving challenges and unlocking new revenue opportunities. While access to the private cloud is an option, the growing amount of data and the demand for better services by customers require banks to expand their cloud usage to the public cloud.
 
And here is where the process can get rather complicated. Due to the sensitivity of their data, for many FSI organisations, only a small number of workloads can be moved to the public cloud. In fact, a report by IBM states that 84% of financial services workloads have not progressed to the public cloud. The main blockers for this include cyber, regulatory risk and confidence to run mission-critical, data-sensitive workloads in the public cloud.
 
To help FSIs deal with this, IBM has announced the general availability of the industry’s first financial services-ready cloud platform, IBM Cloud for Financial Services. Designed in collaboration with the Bank of America and first revealed in 2019, IBM has since built a cloud environment capable of supporting the needs of the financial services industry for their mission-critical workloads and data protection, with advanced compliance capabilities and industry-leading security.
 
The IBM Cloud for Financial Services is designed to help to reduce risk for financial institutions, their partners and FinTechs, and innovate quickly with built-in controls that are adhered to by the entire ecosystem. It now also includes the support for Red Hat OpenShift and other cloud-native services.
 
According to Abhijit Chakravorty, Partner & Cloud Security Competency Leader at IBM Security Services, the IBM Cloud Financial Services enables clients’ business transformations by accelerating and de-risking their cloud journey. Among the highlights of the IBM Cloud for Financial Services include:

  • Confidential computing provides technology-assured safeguarding of data.

  • Pre-configured controls enable continuous compliance, accelerate cloud journeys and reduce compliance costs.

  • Growing ecosystems of ISVs, fintech and insuretech integrated with IBM Controls Framework accelerate innovation while minimising risk.

  • Run workloads anywhere and simplify hybrid cloud operations with Satellite, enabling highly portable hybrid cloud.

“With this announcement, we are now supporting Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud. Previously we were supporting VMware and now we are extending it to support OpenShift workloads. We are also expanding to support cloud-native applications such as Cloud Object Storage and even VPC services. So, the extensibility of the cloud-native capabilities is now standard. Secondly, it is extending the number of ISVs and partners that have come on board,” said Abhijit.
 
In addition to Bank of America, IBM is working with several global financial institutions such as BNP Paribas, Luminor Bank, MUFG and more. The IBM Cloud for Financial Services is supported by an ecosystem of more than 90 collaboration partners, including new additions EY and Tata Consultancy Services, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers. As part of today’s announcement, SAP has joined the IBM Cloud for Financial Services ecosystem, giving clients a diverse set of applications to deploy via the platform.
 
Secured Platform Designed for Open Innovation
 
With the general availability of IBM Cloud for Financial Services, the financial services industry, including technology partners, can now build applications with Red Hat OpenShift, migrate virtual machine workloads, and establish compliance profiles across their workloads to help support their continuous compliance needs. Financial services institutions can now accelerate their cloud journeys with IBM Cloud for Financial Services’ built-in security and compliance controls for both cloud-native and VMware workloads.
 
IBM Cloud for Financial Services is built on IBM Cloud, the industry’s most secure and open cloud for business, which uses Red Hat OpenShift as its primary Kubernetes environment to manage containerised software across the enterprise, and includes more than 200 API driven, cloud-native PaaS services to create new and enhanced cloud-native apps. Developer and ecosystem partners can build and modernise in a secured environment to drive innovation for today’s modern customer.
 
SAP Joins IBM Cloud for Financial Services Ecosystem
 
IBM Cloud for Financial Services established a growing ecosystem of more than 90 ISVs and SaaS providers to help enable financial services organisations to integrate offerings from third-party providers and modernise core applications to improve the customer experience. With the addition of SAP, clients can now quickly engage with the largest enterprise app company across their workloads.
 
IBM will guide ISV and SaaS providers through each step of the onboarding process, which includes a technical and security assessment, workload migration, and readiness validation designed to address third- and fourth-party risk. The IBM Cloud for Financial Services features a control framework designed to help financial institutions reduce expenses and accelerate revenue growth while fostering a secure and compliant partner ecosystem.
 
This process supports partner compliance initiatives with the IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services requirements and efficient onboarding through a systematic approach supported by IBM’s technical, security, and regulatory teams.

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