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During last month’s Sibos conference and exhibition in London, cloud computing came to the fore, both on the exhibition floor and in the conference sessions. Swift launched Cloud Connect, an initiative that expands options for its customers adopting cloud services. The initiative covers large public cloud providers and Swift’s own private cloud platform.

In the public cloud space, the cooperative has a proof of concept in place with Microsoft, building on work started last year with Microsoft’s treasury operations. This established a prototype Swift connection on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Payment transactions were successfully tested on the platform. Swift said Cloud Connect would ease users’ migration to providers such as Microsoft and Google Cloud, as well as the next generation of Swift’s private cloud platform, Alliance Cloud. Customer trials on Cloud Connect will begin later this year, with a community-wide service targeted for the second half of 2020.

A faster, frictionless future

Alliance Cloud is designed for institutions of all sizes that wish to host their messaging operations on Swift-managed infrastructure. A phased roll-out of the private cloud service will start in Q2 2020. Alliance Cloud has been designed to scale quickly to meet changing customer needs. It seamlessly integrates gpi, sanctions screening solutions and other Swift services. It maintains 24×7 availability and a high level of security, while reducing customers’ total operating costs.

Craig Young, chief information officer at Swift, said: “Cloud computing is a key enabler of a faster, frictionless future and a powerful catalyst for innovative new services. Our community is seizing its potential, and we are committed to supporting them with a range of connectivity options reflecting their diverse approaches and breadth of needs.”

Also during Sibos, Broadridge Financial Solutions announced that it had made its Global Asset Servicing Solution available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a public cloud. An unnamed global tier one investment bank is already in live operation with the solution and another topranked institution is onboarding.

“Collaborating with AWS to leverage the latest in cloud technology will address the significant challenges of inefficient processes in asset servicing and reduced ability to control costs,” said Samir Pandiri, president of Broadridge International.

Scott Mullins, head of worldwide financial services business development at AWS, said: “Asset servicing is a vital component of the daily operations of banks and broker-dealers. By using AWS, Broadridge is providing its clients with increased operational effectiveness, resiliency and scalability, while providing the ability to effectively control costs.”

Kurian addresses security concerns

Financial institutions have come relatively late to cloud technology, initially concerned about data security and varying national regulations governing where data could be held. Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO, told Sibos delegates that financial institutions are moving “more aggressively” to use cloud technology. “There was anxiety about data security and the location of data, but cloud providers have invested billions into data centres and in software to protect data,” he said. “Financial institutions now look at cloud as a new platform they can use to innovate on, deliver experiences in new ways and connect products to consumers in new ways.”

Several Sibos conference sessions focused on cloud technology. One examined the concept that banks might be too reliant on only a handful of cloud providers, raising the potential of a ‘single point of failure’. During the session, delegates were warned that security is not “embedded” in a cloud service, although panellists admitted the cloud was something that couldn’t be avoided.

 Article by-
Heather McKenzie
Consulting Editor

by IBS Intelligence