Could Your Cloud Provider be a House of Cards?

What financial firms should consider as they migrate to cloud

Could Your Cloud Provider be a House of Cards?

by Ranjan Singh, Vice President, Product Management, IPC

Whether you are watching the latest episode of House of Cards or listening to the Chainsmokers on Spotify, all of us have interacted with a service that relies on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in our daily lives. Many are modern day conveniences which, as consumers, we have grown accustomed to in our daily lives and power a more modern digital and mobile world.

Unfortunately, once many of us get into the office, things tend to go a bit backwards from the personal technological utopia that has been fueled over the last decade. As I am sure any enterprise IT executive will tell you, companies are racing to adopt the same technologies that power services like Netflix, Spotify, and Pinterest and they will tell you a long story about how using Cloud services in the enterprise is different from the consumer world.

Migrating enterprise applications to the cloud is tricky business, especially those that are already in use across the enterprise. Many questions arise, such as:

  •  What is the business benefit?
  • How does it drive revenue, improve customer satisfaction, save money or provide a competitive advantage?

The answers can be murky as one begins the journey, especially when you balance the benefits against the risk of migrating an existing application where user expectations and business impact of availability are substantially higher.

Financial services firms have long invested in control and fault tolerance. Why? Because the implications of even a momentary outage translates to monetary loss and unquantifiable reputational harm which would dwarf any of the above benefits. Even with all of this, financial services firms can see the benefits and are embracing cloud. Regulators like FINRA are also vocal supporters of using services like AWS to store and analyze data.

Six Key Factors When Considering Cloud

However, the most recent AWS outage, which lasted more than four hours, highlights that firms embarking on the task of migrating existing critical applications to the cloud need to be vigilant and pay attention to:

  •  Whether their provider understands their business and has a vested interest in making sure the migration is successful.
  • The implications of downtime and responsiveness, when serving customers in a B2B environment, are significantly greater than the consequences of interrupting the latest chart topper on Spotify.
  • Address the contrast between consumer and business needs, for B2B organizations scheduled downtime occur on weekends, where consumer driven organizations need downtime to occur during the workweek.
  • Whether a new provider fully understands their existing environment, can they satisfy their requirements from an incumbent provider who offers a cloud solution and how can they more effectively migrate their application.
  • Which specialized processes and procedures are aligned to their business or will critical services be lumped in with the same person watching Kevin Spacey perform another dark task.
  • Which providers can offer a multitude of ways to consume their services to adapt to different business line requirements.

There’s a lot more at stake than missing the last episode of Stranger Things when companies move applications to the Cloud, but the right scrutiny of providers can make the process a lot easier than coming in Monday to spoilers because you could not binge watch the latest season of OITNB.