A recently released report from Accenture (News - Alert) says what many firms have suspected all along: cloud computing, and the various features and services it can offer, are poised to be a substantial game-changer for the banking sector as a whole.
The Accenture report, a group effort from Accenture Financial Services' Emmanuel Sardet and Accenture Technology Labs' Emmanuel Vale, details how banks across all markets can use cloud computing to advance their market position, though the execution will change depending on what kind of a market the bank is currently occupying.
For mature markets, cloud computing can make the entrance into emerging markets less expensive overall and, thus, lower risk. Emerging markets can allow banks to skip the practice of brick-and-mortar branch banking in at least some cases to instead offer services via mobile networks. The comparatively small number of people actually using mobile banking services compared to the number of people who have access to mobile networks and smartphone technology illustrates the opportunity that banks, especially banks in emerging markets, have to branch into cloud-based technologies to offer banking services. Since cloud-based technologies are supremely scalable, and as a result comparatively lower-priced at the outset, it provides a great opportunity for banks to offer more services than their competitors, and thus seize a competitive edge.
Further reports by The Tower Group suggest that there are three important trends that will shape cloud-based systems in banking. The first is the growing use of social media, which will allow banks to offer different bundling services based on their customers' profiles. Second is the rise of the private cloud, which forces banks to focus more on providing services, especially providing services their competitors don't. Third is the role of the public cloud, which, while not providing core services or customer activities, will prove useful in the back-office environments, providing access to lesser but still important functions like email and collaboration tools.
The only down side to this is that the competitive edge provided by instituting cloud-based services will be short lived. The cloud model is available to virtually every bank, and given the valuable nature of cloud-based services, many banks will take advantage of them. The more banks that take advantage of the services, the less value the services will have in a competitive sense. Once every bank offers a certain service, it loses its value overall as a competitive service and becomes an expected service instead.
Still, there are plenty of advantages to using cloud-based technology in banking, and with those advantages will likely follow plenty of banks getting into the act.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey