IBM is looking to target financial services customers with the launch of what is being claimed as the world’s first financial services-ready public cloud – in association with Bank of America.
In some respects, this can be seen as a glorified customer update. Bank of America will be a ‘committed collaborator’ to use the platform, built on IBM’s public cloud, and will host key applications to support its 66 million banking customers.
Yet the companies have collaborated extensively on the product, naturally designed to stringent security practices. The duo is working with Promontory, an IBM business unit focused on financial services regulatory compliance consulting, while strict compliance will be enforced among ISVs or SaaS providers who wish to participate.
Red Hat OpenShift will be deployed as the product’s primary Kubernetes environment to manage containerised software, with more than 190 API-driven services being issued to create new cloud-native applications.
Financial services is an important battleground for the leading clouds. Amazon Web Services (AWS) cites three primary customers in this industry; Liberty Mutual, Starling Bank, and Capital One. The latter hit the headlines for the wrong reasons after a data breach was confirmed in July, although the company subsequently noted its cloud operating model helped solve the issue at greater speed. For Microsoft Azure, MetLife, German savings bank Provinzial and South African Nedbank are among its key clients.
This is not the entire story, however, as many financial services firms are looking to hybrid cloud to ensure sufficient digital adoption. According to a report from Nutanix issued in April, more than one in five financial organisations polled said they were deploying a hybrid cloud model, with the vast majority (91%) saying hybrid was their ‘ideal’ IT model.
“This is one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space,” said Cathy Bessant, Bank of America chief operations and technology officer in a statement. “This industry-first platform will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy and customer information safety need at the forefront of decision making.
“By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched,” Bessant added.
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