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How can the Financial Services improve sustainability in the cloud? And why?

Whether it’s efficient customer support, open banking or business analysis, data is fundamental to today’s Financial Services sector. But with the rising importance of data comes calls for more sustainable practices globally.

While it’s easy to think of planes or agriculture when discussing our carbon footprint – because these elements exist in the world physically – data is much harder to tangibly appreciate.

Data doesn’t have a physical mass. But it does still exist in our infrastructure, from data centres to a Cloud Service Providers. And with this existence comes its own carbon footprint.

Currently, 68% of data created is never used or touched again. Storing this quantity of unused data adds up – both in terms of its carbon footprint and impact to a business’s bottom line. As 43 banks across the world have joined forces to create the ‘UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance,’ it’s clear that a commitment to sustainable industry practice is picking up speed.

Here, we’ll explore how efficient data from an end-to-end supply chain perspective can improve sustainability and what steps businesses in the Financial Services industry can take to optimise operations while staying climate conscious.

Where is your data?

Where are you storing it? What data do you have? Who owns it? These are all questions companies must ask themselves if they are to truly embrace sustainable operations and embark on reducing the data’s carbon impact.

Perhaps you’re using older, less efficient technology, or you’re storing data from years ago that’s no longer useful.

A holistic view is required to ensure digital operations are sustainable, from the supply chain to end-product or offering. Sustainable practice in the cloud must be considered end-to-end, and this starts with locating your data.

The Financial Services industry is heavily regulated, so it can be easy to keep hold of everything just in case. But by setting out a defined data management policy that outlines exactly what data needs to be retained, and how, it can support your business to manage its data effectively.

How is your data managed?

When it comes to green IT, just tackling unused data can make a huge impact on your business’s sustainability. But it’s not just your business that’s producing data. Every third-party vendor and supplier your organisation works with also produces quantities of data that supports your business’s operations and profitability.

Here, understanding your organisation’s data fabric is key to evaluating the businesses you partner with, ensuring their values and commitments to sustainable practice align with yours.

We all have connections, and a business is no different. Holding your organisation’s supply chain to account and ensuring that data is optimised efficiently on the cloud is a step in the right direction. Trusted partners can support organisations to better understand their carbon footprint as well as the fabric of other companies they work with to holistically improve sustainable operations together.

What’s the benefit of sustainable cloud data management?

As we’ve already mentioned, organisations in Financial Services must look at their vendors’ sustainability actions as well as their own internal operations if they are to effectively reduce their own carbon footprint.

Not only does efficient data management mean a reduction in costs, but it will also help the Financial Services sector reach sustainability goals and customer expectations. In fact, customers are willing to pay more for sustainability, with 85% of consumers reporting they have become ‘greener’ in recent years.

Demand is growing for environmentally friendly offerings across all industries – from financial services to manufacturing and transport. Sustainable and ethical operations are now not only morally imperative, they are also a great opportunity for Financial Services to demonstrate a commitment to customers and directly acknowledge their preferences towards sustainable practice.

End-to-end accountability

Cloud providers offer sustainable ways for Financial Services to operate digitally, helping to integrate with the likes of hyperscalers for tiering, backup or disaster recovery solutions. Workloads can be moved from on-premise to the cloud, not only enabling more efficient operations but also supporting the Financial Services sector to stretch and reach its sustainability goals.

But simply moving to the cloud isn’t enough. Cloud resources cost money – whether that’s compute or storage – and they consume vast amounts of renewable energy. With the right partner, solutions can help companies be more efficient in the way they consume cloud resources – reducing costs and the quantity of renewable energy wasted.

For Financial Services, consideration towards more efficient, sustainable consumption of resources – from cloud data management to electricity and even stationary – is critical to help limit the amount of energy needed for operations and increase sustainable practice moving forwards.






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