Financial services slow to use cloud

The financial services...

The financial services sector is reluctant to move to cloud computing, according to research.

Around 67% of financial professionals questioned said their organisations did not use cloud computing, while half said they were not familiar with the concept, according to a survey from software consultancy Access.

Daniel Mayo, principal analyst at Ovum, said this survey tallies with the firm's own research, which found that adoption of public and private cloud systems remain limited in the sector.

"For main applications most banks have their own data centres, which they run internally or are outsourced, so there is less of a business case to be made for moving to the cloud," he said.

However, take-up is higher in areas such as software as a service, with more firms using applications such as server virtualisation. Tactical solutions outside the core platform, such as CRM systems, are also becoming more popular, he added.

Stronger growth is expected in the financial markets, said Mayo. "Developing products and using the cloud is a good move [in this area], that way if an application doesn't work it can be decommissioned without having cost a huge amount of investment," he said.

Confidentiality and security of were cited as the biggest area of concern when considering the cloud, found the Access survey.

Chris Harding, forum director at technology consortium The Open Group, said there could be psychological barriers in some firms surrounding the perceived security risks of sensitive information going outside their own walls. However, financial firms might wish to consider the cost advantages of using a private cloud to test new applications, he added.

Of those organisations currently using cloud computing, CRM was found to be the most popular (22%), followed by document management (14%), and HR functions (14%), said Access.

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