Bank of England seeks public cloud technology partner
The Bank of England (BoE) has announced that it is searching for a technology partner to help it build out a new public cloud platform.
According to a tender posted on the central bank’s website last week, it is looking to understand in more detail how the benefits of public cloud computing could be secured.
The BoE already uses a series of hosting services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology suites, following the launch of its One Bank Services Transformation and Data Centre projects. The former is expected to save around £15 million a year and involve the replacement of 25 on-site services.
The regulator is looking into the flexibility of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models.
It writes that it is seeking to “improve and build upon existing capability in order to better understand best practice of identifying, configuring and delivering the optimal service”.
“This is a step change for the way the Bank has hosted services in the past,” the BoE adds, “but with advances in security and vendor offerings such that the Bank can see real benefits to its operations.”
A technology team at the BoE has already considered existing market options, including a hybrid infrastructure approach, the published tender is a result of its discussions with providers, consultants and public sector peers.
The contract, which will run for two years, arrives on the heels of the central bank warning about the “lack of sustainability” in cloud computing in its Future of Finance Report.
Huw van Steenis, financier and author of the report, nevertheless urged the BoE to adopt wider cloud integration and “embrace” the technology, believing that regulatory requirements remained a barrier for the financial services sector when it came to cloud adoption.
Bids for the contract are open until 5 February, and work is scheduled to begin on the project at the start of April.
The BoE is also engaged in an internal data shake-up with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The two regulators have outlined new plans to develop their in-house analytics.
The central bank has released a discussion paper on the subject, focused on improving the timelines and effectiveness of data collection from firms “across the financial system.”
The two regulators, alongside seven market participants, have also released a viability assessment into the latest pilot of Digital Regulatory Reporting (DRR), a scheme which would allow firms to automatically supply reporting data.