• Judd Caplain, Leadership |

Customers expect a more connected, intuitive experience from their financial institutions today, and the pandemic has cemented the value of transformation and digital channels in the financial services industry. In addition, constantly evolving customer expectations and tech-savvy competitors continue to add to the complexity of the sector.

As the industry accelerates and works to stay competitive with new market entrants, many financial services companies want to transform to create great customer experiences and reduce costs by streamlining operations. They’re also looking to better protect themselves against data breaches, combat fraud and manage compliance.

Looking to the cloud

This has put a strong emphasis on the use of cloud technologies to help address these challenges while delivering the kinds of digital experiences consumers now expect. But financial services organizations need cloud services that are tailored to their unique needs. 

When COVID-19 hit, the ability to move mission-critical applications and services to the cloud overnight proved to be a game changer. And according to KPMG’s latest CEO Outlook survey, 44 percent of global banking CEOs are looking to invest in a secure and resilient cloud-based technology infrastructure as a key step to build digital resilience (versus 40 percent in all sectors).

Through cloud implementation, financial institutions can avoid the capital expenditure required to purchase and maintain a technology system on premises and take advantage of ongoing, automatic software updates, security investments, and resiliency inherent in a cloud-based system. They can also improve operational efficiencies using artificial intelligence and help with enterprise synchronization, providing the organization with a unified platform to share data among teams and create connected data sets to unlock more actionable analytics and insights.

In my view, the ability to leverage cloud capabilities is imperative to be ready for where your business needs to be in the next five years. But why is it a challenge for financial services organizations to make the most of their cloud investments?

Among the top barriers are data security and compliance concerns. Some organizations believe they can keep modernizing their data centers in perpetuity, while others have more trust in their internal security systems than those of external providers. However, the reality is changing now with providers like Microsoft offering built-in security, trust and compliance across services, data, applications, and infrastructure that can help identify evolving threats early.

Take the following into consideration when looking to invest in cloud services:

  • Carefully select the right strategic partner(s) for your cloud transformation — someone with the sector-specific capabilities and the track record to prove it.
  • Identify whether it makes sense to be on a public, private or hybrid cloud.
  • Determine the capabilities of a potential cloud provider relative to their controls over data privacy (e.g. encryption and access privileges), disaster recovery plans and service level agreements.
  • Check the commitment of your cloud provider(s) to comply with evolving regulatory changes and industry specific certifications.

Building together

KPMG is included in Microsoft’s select partner ecosystem for their Cloud for Financial Services, working to drive transformation tailored to the industry’s requirements. This cloud platform helps remove data silos to turn insights into action and offers the flexibility to adopt any number of capabilities in a modularized fashion.

KPMG brings a financial services lens to the four capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services: creating a unified customer profile, improving customer onboarding, increasing banking customer engagement, and managing collaboration across front and back offices.

Building on the strong foundation of KPMG’s long-standing global alliance with Microsoft, we’re taking our existing familiarity with the offering to the next level to accelerate adoption for financial services clients. KPMG understands the industry — and the risks behind it. We’re leveraging our KPMG and Microsoft Digital Investment Hub to develop new and innovative solutions to address urgent challenges the financial services industry is facing today, with our understanding of risk, regulation, compliance, and cyber security concerns. KPMG currently offers several solutions built on the Microsoft Cloud and will continue to develop solutions on this new platform.

The combination of the KPMG Connected Enterprise and Powered Enterprise frameworks and our industry and process experience, running within Microsoft’s trusted cloud technologies layered with regulatory, compliance and protection controls, can provide a winning transformation strategy.

“As financial institutions look at ways to better serve their clients and empower employees, while at the same time continuing to reduce costs, there is a strong focus on the use of digital tools and cloud technology. Leveraging KPMG’s deep industry expertise along with the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, KPMG offers tailored solutions that enable our goal of helping financial services clients accelerate innovation for responsible growth.”
Bill Borden, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft

Together, we can help you make the most of your cloud investments and modernize your organization to meet evolving needs.

Throughout this page, “we”, “us” and “our” refers to KPMG and Microsoft.

“KPMG” refers to the global organization or to one or more of the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”), each of which is a separate legal entity.