Cloud Industry Forum turns attentions to financial services market with new Special Interest Group | Cloud industry forum

Cloud Industry Forum turns attentions to financial services market with new Special Interest Group

Industry body announces initiative designed to drive the improvement of cloud offerings to the financial services sector

The Cloud Industry Forum has today launched the new CIF Financial Services SIG that is dedicated to helping cloud service providers (CSPs) foster a deeper understanding of the financial services sector. It will help them to develop more focused value propositions that will help them address the specific needs of financial services organisations seeking to reap the benefits of digital transformation.

Ray Bricknell - Managing Director at Behind Every Cloud - will be the Chairman of the group, bringing over a decade of experience in analysing and assessing CSPs and their fit with financial services organisations to the table. As a former CTO at RAB Capital – an $8Bn listed hedge fund - and with 18 years experience in UK institutional firms such as Barclays and Prudential he has developed a deep understanding of the technological requirements of financial services organisations. For the past 10 years he has fostered a unique appreciation of the cloud marketplace as the founder of the Clover Index, an independent cloud vendor ratings index. Ray will use these capabilities and his network of Financial Services IT thought leaders to help UK CSPs create and sharpen their financial services propositions.

Bricknell commented further on the place of cloud in financial services: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the financial services market - technology is being deployed to overturn previous norms, to bring new products and services to market, and to create a more sophisticated and seamless way of operating. Cloud computing offers a more agile and scalable IT infrastructure, providing the fundamentals for this kind of digital transformation. While financial services have generally been relatively slow to embrace this change, it is now accepted wisdom that the majority of commodity IT functions can be procured more cost effectively, reliably, and securely from CSPs.

“However, the financial services market in this country is extremely diverse, and its IT needs vary accordingly. Commoditised infrastructure in only a small part of the solution. An insurance firm has very different functional requirements and constraints for its cloud adoption to a venture capital firm or an investment manager. The problem is that CSPs are currently struggling to understand the depth and nuances of these specialised requirements, and are therefore not bringing differentiated services to the table. This doesn’t only suppress the amount of revenue they can generate from customers in the financial services sector, it also limits the digital transformation of the UK financial services market as a whole.”

The new SIG tackles this problem by providing a forum for UK CSPs and financial services organisations to better understand each other’s capabilities and requirements, and to orientate CSPs towards the requirements and value-add propositions of the financial services market.

Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF, concluded by expanding on this approach: “CIF is not just about training or certification, although that is an important part of what we do. Underlying the whole ethos of the organisations is the value of open conversation, of bringing decision-makers together in a room to develop new approaches. CIFF will bring that approach to the financial services market, providing a forum for CSPs and financial services firms to work together for mutual benefit.”

If you are a CSP or a financial services organisation who is interested in participating in CIFF, please contact rayb@cloudindustryforum.org