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July 23, 2015

Secret public cloud threatens Financial Services data

Lines of business are circumventing the IT department to use public cloud.

By James Nunns

Financial Services organisations in the UK are circumventing IT to use public cloud.

This should be of great concern to a heavily regulated industry which is required to maintain strict control over data and the location of it.

According to research from EMC, VCE and VMware, some 44% of those in the sector admit to bypassing the IT department when purchasing cloud services. In addition to this it was found that 92% are using some form of public cloud.

The research revealed that the main reasons for this ranged from it being a cheaper solution (41%) to ease of use (34%) and wanting to meet client needs (30%).

Rob Lamb, Cloud Business Director, UK & Ireland, EMC, told CBR: "One of the challenges I see, is that they are struggling to categorise workloads and need to better understand non regulated data and regulated data."

For example, test or development data, if it is totally anonymised could sit quite easily in the public cloud.

Lamb said that a lack of investment and data tied up in legacy systems are partly to blame, although he believes that the lack of investment existed well before the financial crisis.

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He identifies that: "Public cloud absolutely does give value to business," he feels that part of the problem with private cloud, is not that it is failing businesses in terms of value but that: "Financial Services haven’t implemented all the services that public can give you internally."

As the sector undergoes significant change with the separation of investment and consumer banking he sees that the workloads which were largely treated the same, regardless of the work case, will slowly change.

"I think Financial Services need to work better with the regulators, but the regulators need to have a more open approach with data.

"There is a need to look at individual cases and to be more open."

A case could be made for perhaps relaxing regulations so that Financial Services in the UK could take better advantage of the tools available to those in less regulated sectors.

Nigel Moulton, CTO, EMEA, VCE, said: "The research highlights why the scale of public cloud adoption, without consultation with the IT department, should cause concern for the industry.

"As employees look to deploy cloud services that circumnavigate the IT department, IT organisations need to have a strategy that gives easier access to cloud services in a controlled, compliant manner."

The survey questioned 600 Line of Businesses across the UK.


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