Most big financial services companies have been eager to tout their own private clouds, but only a few have made a large move to public cloud offerings, citing security and compliance concerns. However, Amazon Web Services, the division of Amazon that runs its cloud computing offering, has been making inroads in the highly regulated financial services industry.
Recently, Wall Street & Technology caught up with Adam Selipsky, vice president of AWS, to discuss how financial services companies are approaching public cloud and how firms' attitudes toward cloud security are shifting
WS&T: Most large financial services companies have already established internal private cloud architectures. However, most have not moved to external public cloud offerings. Why is that?
Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services: What we've found in working with financial institutions and other large enterprises is that private cloud is often the term that is being used by vendors who are selling virtualization of existing on-premises technology. Virtualization, and many other technologies being termed private clouds, lacks many of the central benefits of the cloud.
For example, with a private cloud, organizations must still invest in capital expenditures and must invest enough to handle rapid demand if needed. This means that there is often low utilization of assets and waste for large portions of the year. Additionally, many of these enterprises are finding that with a private cloud they are still stuck managing the muck of technology infrastructure, which really doesn't differentiate their businesses.
AWS is working with a growing number of forward-leaning financial services institutions who've realized that there is a good deal of efficiency, cost savings, and innovation possible in the cloud. For some, there can be a psychological hurdle involved in making the first leap into the cloud, but once organizations learn about AWS security practices, the amount of control they have in the cloud and the cost savings that can be achieved, they quickly begin offloading more of their technology infrastructure to AWS.
Data intensive processing is a common early use-case for financial services customers, including risk analysis, algorithm and model testing, and financial simulations. Web and mobile applications and storage and content distribution are also common use cases.