7 Ways the Cloud Benefits Financial Services Firms
There’s no doubt about it: the financial services industry is going digital.
For many years, consumer preferences have been the driving force behind the change. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, digital transformation has become absolutely essential.
Yet even with the increased necessity, some financial firms remain wary of taking their most essential systems and tools to the cloud.
Of course, reasons can vary… but we’re willing to bet that many of these cloud-holdouts are only hesitant because they don’t fully understand all the advantages the cloud has to offer financial firms, and how it can help them optimize their business and expand their opportunities.
Keep reading to explore seven ways that financial services firms can benefit from the cloud.
1. Stronger Security
Security tends to be the biggest concern when it comes to cloud-based tools. And while that may have been legitimate a dozen years ago, the tables have turned. Believe it or not, the cloud can actually be more secure than on-premises solutions.
Given all the reputation damage that comes with a data breach, financial services firms can’t afford to skimp on security. You and your customers need to know that confidential information stays safe within your systems.
So what makes the cloud so much more secure? One reason is that cloud providers can dedicate significant resources to beef up their platform’s security — after all, it’s in the best interests of their business. As a result, they’re able to offer a much more advanced level of security than smaller organizations can afford to create on their own legacy system.
2. Increased Flexibility
Although the ability to work-from-home was popular with employees well before 2020, the pandemic ensured flexibility is a top priority for employers too. Anytime, anywhere access isn’t just about convenience anymore… It's about maintaining business continuity, no matter what comes your way.
While remote access is sometimes possible with on-premises solutions, the reality is it’s rarely a seamless experience. VPN connections are notoriously unreliable and frustrating.
On the other hand, cloud-based tools offer teams the ability to stay connected, whether their members are together in an office, working from home, or checking in while on vacation. The same seamless experience is always available, no matter where you are.
3. Less Hardware & Maintenance
When you adopt cloud-based tools for your firm, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t require extensive IT resources to set up, monitor, and update the system.
Instead, your solution provider handles all the hardware and software maintenance, bug patches, and system upgrades. Then they simply push updates out to all users simultaneously, and voila! You get an improved system without lifting a finger or facing a major interruption.
4. Productivity Without Compromise
Let’s be honest: most legacy on-premises systems aren’t very user-friendly or intuitive. As a result, it takes more work to actually do work.
While not all cloud-based tools rise to the challenge, many providers proudly strive to make their platforms easy to use and build features that help users be more productive.
At NetDocuments, we’ve invested deeply in creating tools that help teams be more productive and efficient. We believe teams should be able to Work Inspired — to work in the ways that work best for them — without compromising on security or compliance.
5. Streamlined Compliance
Financial services businesses have strict requirements when it comes to managing internal and customer data — and the consequences of non-compliance can be quite serious. Fortunately, the cloud can help here too.
With a cloud-based platform, the hard work has already been done for you. Compared with on-premises solutions where everything is managed in-house, the cloud allows you to take advantage of built-in, pass-through compliance.
Responsible solution providers continuously monitor the regulatory landscape so they can make adjustments as needed and keep the platform up-to-date on the latest requirements.
Consider this: NetDocuments has earned compliance certifications for numerous privacy and security standards — all verified by third-party auditors — including SEC/FINRA, GDPR, and more. That’s one reason our customers often describe NetDocuments as "Compliance-as-a-Service."
Of course, not all cloud-based platforms are created to meet the financial industry’s rigorous standards. A close review of compliance capabilities is vital with every solution you consider.
6. Easier Collaboration
Whether you’re working with a colleague, client, or vendor, collaboration is an essential part of modern business.
But it becomes significantly more challenging when confidential information is involved. To maintain privacy, financial firms must have strong security and compliance controls in place. Unfortunately, this often makes the collaboration process overly complex, especially when using on-premises systems.
In the cloud, however, collaboration is simple, streamlined, and secure.
7. Cost Savings
For many organizations, switching to the cloud means significant cost savings. First off, there are no hardware costs because you access the platform via the internet, and you don’t need to expend valuable IT resources to manage the system.
Choosing a cloud-based system also means you only pay for what you need — the systems are totally scalable, whether your firm needs 5 seats or 500 seats.
And while it may not be savings per se, many firms report that they appreciate cloud platforms because they make monthly expenses more predictable.
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