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Every cloud provides a silver service, but which one is right for you?

‘Cloud as a Service’ is the term that often goes hand in hand with ‘cloud migration’ – both of which are now becoming more mainstream due to the cloud’s scalability and hyper-efficient cost benefits. Companies leveraging the cloud can focus more on core business operations and avoid spending time and resources on processes and infrastructure, which are necessary, but provide little value or differentiation.

The ‘as a service model’ is becoming essential if organisations are going to maintain a competitive advantage while operating free from the constraints of legacy technology and infrastructure.

Here we provide an overview of the various cloud service models to give you an idea of which might be the right solution for your company, these include:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Within this model, the infrastructure consists of computers, servers, hard drives, routers and networks which are all hosted by cloud vendors on behalf of customers. The infrastructure is deployed in various data centres and are accessed and managed via the internet. Also known as hardware as a service, this model provides customers with complete flexibility and avoids the capital cost of purchasing and owning physical servers and other data centre infrastructure. Ultimately, customers only pay for what they need and what they consume. One such example is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia who switched to IaaS and saved 35% of their operational costs per annum, they are now considered one of the most agile and innovative companies in Asia.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Unlike IaaS, this cloud computing model offers access to an application software platform in addition to the hardware and infrastructure which is provided externally by a cloud service provider. Customers can use this model to develop, run and manage their payment applications without the associated complexity and cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure on-premise.

PaaS provides customers with the ability to quickly and efficiently create, test and deploy payment applications, and scale, maintain and tweak the applications according to demand and market trends. This is opposed to, worrying about how the application is hosted and updating/ maintaining the actual platform. Companies can focus their attention on building the application which will provide them with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. JP Morgan and Chase, one of the biggest investment banks in the world migrated their applications, servers and the work of hundreds of developers to a private PaaS solution, resulting in application time to market improvement of 59 days amongst many other benefits.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

A complete cloud application delivered by the service provider for the end user. This model provides an end user application which is accessed via the web and avoids the need to install the app on to a user’s local computer. Maintenance, software updates and the supporting infrastructure is managed by the service provider. This is the most used cloud commuting model and can be set up and scaled quickly and efficiently. Orange Bank Africa, a mobile first finance service went live with a cloud native, SaaS provider Temenos. Temenos’ technology will allow Orange Bank Africa to continuously innovate and provide customers with much-needed access to savings accounts and micro-loans.

Cloud Deployment Models

There are four cloud deployment models associated with cloud computing and these refer to how the user connects to and accesses the services mentioned above. The deployment model utilised will depend on the needs and characteristics of an organisation.

Public Cloud

Resources are shared by multiple organisations over the internet outside of the service providers’ firewall. The public cloud provides a cost-effective means of accessing the cloud with a monthly utilisation charge.

Private Cloud

Equipment and software are owned and dedicated to one organisation who maintains their own resources which can either be hosted on-premise or via a service provider and accessed through a private network by the organisations own firewall. A private cloud may be considered if sensitive data is involved or if an organisation needs to maintain high availability requirements.

Hybrid Cloud

Incorporating both public and private cloud and may also include on-premise infrastructure. For this deployment model to work effectively, applications and data must be interconnected seamlessly and operate as one infrastructure. A hybrid cloud deployment may be used by companies who wish to store data on-premise, use the private cloud for sensitive applications and the public cloud as a back-up to the private cloud, during periods of peak demands, for disaster recovery and development and testing.

Bank of America started it’s cloud journey in 2012 utilising the private cloud to migrate on-premise data centres and has since slashed it’s servers from 200,000 to 70,000 and reduced it’s data centres from 67 to 23. Recently, Bank of America teamed up with IBM to create a public cloud platform for financial institutions and will be the first major bank to use the platform.

Multi Cloud

A multi cloud deployment combines several independent public/private cloud service providers that are not integrated. Standard Charted recently adopted a multi cloud approach for its digital transformation and as part of this, announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure to collaborate on open banking and real-time payments to “unlock new banking experiences for clients”. Similarly, HSBC is operating on a multi cloud model using Google cloud to host it’s data warehouse and has selected Amazon AWS as its new long-term cloud provider to improve the customers digital experience. 

Achieving your cloud strategy

Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are the leading public cloud providers that offer financial institutions a variety of ‘as a service’ options tailored towards the payments ecosystem which enable financial institutions to; lower operational costs, increase revenue streams, gain insightful customer data, improve operational efficiency and deliver innovative products tailored to the needs and demands of today’s customer. Cloud is now becoming a prioritised strategy for financial institutions as on-premise infrastructure is restrictive and is not able to scale quickly and efficiently enough to respond to shifting customer requirements.

Now organisations deploying to a full cloud adoption strategy by leveraging the public, private or hybrid cloud architecture can benefit from:

  • Reduced costs – Consuming the cloud as an on-demand, pay as you go model replaces large capex with an optimal and predictable monthly fee.
  • Improved efficiency and resilience – Test and development and go to market time is significantly reduced.
  • Enhanced security – Cloud providers offer enhanced security features which are designed and managed by security specialists. Leading cloud providers invest more in security than most organisations are able to invest in their own on-premise environment.
  • Increased scalability – Rapidly increase resources to accommodate fluctuating capacity demands.



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