IBM launches “world first” financial services public cloud
IBM has launched what it claims is the world’s first financial services-ready public cloud, with Bank of America on board as the first partner and collaborator.
The cloud is expected to run on IBM’s open public cloud, which uses Red Hat OpenShift as its primary Kubernetes environment to manage containerised software.
Bank of America is set to host a series of “key applications and workloads” on the IBM public cloud, which Big Blue says has been designed to meet stringent requirements for regulatory compliance, security, and resiliency.
IBM says that its cloud can enable independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers to “focus on their core offerings to financial institutions knowing that the controls for the industry have been put in place”.
“The financial services-ready public cloud represents an ongoing commitment from Bank of America, IBM and Promontory to help develop a trusted technology ecosystem that is resilient and addresses regulations,” says Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global industries, clients, platforms and blockchain at IBM.
“Together we plan to address compliance requirements that will be continuously re-evaluated, coupled with highly scalable, standardised capabilities that will be built to serve today’s modern financial services industry.”
For Bank of America the deal with IBM fits into its seven-year journey to the cloud. In October the bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan told analysts that internal cloud services had enabled it to cut the number of servers it uses from 200,000 to 70,000.
“We are working with potential providers to take the next step, which is discrete data centres and resources to internal cloud, save a tonne of money, then use that power to actually negotiate with third parties,” Moynihan said at the time, as reported by Bloomberg.
According to data from 451 Research, around 9% of financial services firms are using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) on a public cloud, while 23% of the same expect to be using these solutions within the next two years.
Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer, Bank of America, calls the IBM collaboration one of the most important in the financial services space.
“This industry-first platform from IBM will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy and customer information safety needs at the forefront of decision making,” she adds.
“By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly-confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched.”