“For financial services organizations exploring cloud solutions, the questions are often the same,” explains Evolve IP’s Steve Sokolowski. Steve was formerly IT Director for Malvern Federal Savings Bank where he oversaw the deployment of cloud technology and dealt first hand with the challenges of OCC and FDIC audits. “The things that everybody wants to know are typically centered on security, compliance, and value,” he said.
The specific questions are slightly different depending on who in the organization you’re speaking with. IT leaders and business executives have different sets of concerns:
IT leaders need to know:
• Will my data be secure? • Will I maintain control of my information and applications? • Will I be able to increase performance and service quality? • Will this help my compliance and oversight reporting?
Business executives need to know:
• Is it safe to run our business (or parts of it) in the cloud? • How can the cloud help me attract and retain more new customers? • Will the cloud cost me more, or can I save my money? • Can we grow as fast we want to?
The good news, as Steve explains, is that all of these questions can be answered affirmatively in a secure virtual private cloud environment such as Evolve IP’s. The easiest way to understand why is to first clarify four fundamental misperceptions that exist:
Misperception 1: I don’t want my data on Amazon
One of the biggest challenges for many folks (both in IT and in the C-suite) is the concept of “which cloud are we talking about.” In many companies, leaders equate the term “cloud” with the public cloud – like AWS, Azure, or Google. However, the type of “virtual private cloud” that Evolve IP provides is a completely different approach and strategy. However, and quite understandably, it’s difficult for many executives and business leaders to appreciate this difference. How could they when everything is simply referred to as “the cloud”?
Misperception 2: Data is less secure in the cloud
The fact of the matter is that a virtual private cloud environment is actually an ideal platform for banking and financial services organizations to operate. Not only is the security typically better than can be provided on premises, but the compliance-focused reporting capabilities make the cloud a real game changer. This is where Evolve IP’s tagline of being “The Cloud Strategy Company” really comes in the play. Evolve IP has taken the extreme measure of having our infrastructure certified to an internationally recognized standard – the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF). While this framework was originally designed to protect highly sensitive healthcare information, it has rapidly grown into an industry agnostic and internationally recognized standard for data protection and cyber security excellence. It is based on ISO and incorporates over 20 different national and international security standards (including NIST, COBIT, SOC II & SOC III, FFIEC, and PCI). As a result, this rigorous certification process is now being adopted by many financial services institutions. Evolve IP went through this process to ensure clients that we are operating at the highest possible level of security awareness.
Misperception 3: I will lose control in the cloud
There are actually two sides to this point. First, if you like having control, you will have as much or more flexibility and control in the cloud. Second, if your team wants little or no control, there are fully-managed options that let you take a hands-off approach. It’s really up to each organization to decide what’s best for them and how many services they want to move to the cloud. Evolve IP’s unique OneCloud strategy incorporates a variety of world-class, analyst-acclaimed cloud computing and communications solutions. This means that clients can easily and efficiently select and access the appropriate set of options for their business needs. They can do this holistically, or one solution at a time, at any pace they choose. This flexibility and scalability allows solutions to be tailored to the precise needs of the organization and to accommodate virtually any degree of growth. Plus, there are significant cost savings compared to traditional on-premises approaches.
Misperception 4: The cloud will complicate compliance
Most importantly for many IT leaders, the cloud’s cybersecurity measures and compliance-focused reporting capabilities provide tremendous support for audits. If you’re a financial services company with compliance and oversight reporting needs, there are countless hours of time and anguish every year dedicated to these tasks. With a 3rd-party-audited virtual private cloud, you can rest assured that the infrastructure-related policies and procedures have been fully documented. Further, you can streamline the process of collecting logs, usage reports, and other data needed to satisfy OCC and FDIC auditors. Similarly, those in other industries can simplify the documentation and data gathering process to meet a wide range of compliance objectives.
In the end, the real question about the cloud is this: Are you going to build your own, or use one that’s already built, secure, and proven to be effective?
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