Sunday, 30 August 2015
IT Trends Affecting Financial Institutions in the Middle East
The finance industry has a reputation of being ahead of the curve when it comes to IT. Whether its new algorithms designed to take trading to new speeds, or the latest security solution designed to provide the utmost protection from criminals, finance organisations are well aware of the benefits that IT can bring to the bottom line.
IT challenges faced by financial institutions
In the Middle East, things are no different, but there are still challenges that finance organisations face. Apart from customer demands and regulatory and compliance pressures, financial institutions in the Middle East are also facing several IT-related challenges especially when it comes to keeping up with the rapid digital transformation and change of the industry landscape. Digitization has become imperative for financial firms in order to compete in today’s changing market. Many of these organizations have legacy systems with data stored in different silos, where they do not have real-time access to all silos at the same time. Hence, a number of organizations are looking at moving their data from in house legacy systems to more adaptable platforms such as the cloud.
Security is another key challenge faced by financial institutions. As the threat landscape continues to evolve giving rise to new threats every day, financial institutions are under tremendous pressure to ensure their systems are protected from all kinds of vulnerabilities so that confidential financial customer data is never compromised.
Trends to look our for
Financial services firms must accommodate consumer, regulatory, and competitive demands. Unfortunately, many firms don’t have flexible and scalable data centre capacity in-house. Working with a data centre services provider is an efficient alternative to expanding their own data centre facility. This can enable financial companies to meet their customers’ demands both cost effectively and efficiently. The service also guarantees near zero-downtime, which is a very critical factor for the financial sector.
Over the past few years, there has also been an increased uptake in disaster recovery and business continuity services. Another important trend is the shift in infrastructure toward hybrid cloud architectures to reduce cycle times, increase resiliency and reduce costs. Hybrid designs might include an on premise private cloud for performance and risk-sensitive workloads, vendor-hosted virtual private clouds for heavy workloads and public clouds for generic, low-risk workloads.
In essence, digital transformation is the key to success. In order to stay competitive, financial companies need to have the right strategy and become digital, adopt cost effective platforms such as cloud, deploy strong IT security solutions to protect all areas of their business and draft strong company security policies for employees.