October 17, 2018

5 Reasons Why The Financial Industry Must Embrace The Cloud

Time to Take a Closer Look at Cloud Services

The key to staying relevant and successful for companies today is to embrace changing technology and incorporate added efficiencies into everyday business. This is especially true in the financial industry. Financial service organizations are experiencing increasing demands from customers and shareholders to drive for greater cost efficiencies and higher productivity. When you pair that with increasing regulations, significant security concerns, issues with mobility, and a hard-cut bottom line of top-notch customer service, it becomes difficult to get ahead. Many companies are now turning to cloud services to solve these issues. Office 365 and Microsoft 365 are clear choices in the cloud service sector, as they are uniquely suited to solve issues specific to finance. 

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Customer Service 

Customer expectations evolve in relation to available technology. Financial organizations must be able to track and manage customers effectively, but they must also engage with them in a way that is strategic yet natural, and also customized.

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Cloud offers a new way to interact with customers using Office 365 CRM tools. Institutions have a more nuanced way to track activities and interactions with clients to tailor customer service to their exact needs, making them more organizationally efficient and better positioned for continued business. 

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Compliance 

There is no shortage of regulations that financial institutions must comply with, such as data location requirements, content retention, data recovery, and transparency for access and audits. Microsoft supports all of these compliance requirements in many ways. 

Data Location 

With respect to applicable regulations, financial institutions must ensure that customer data is located and stored within their customers' geographic region. Microsoft  contractually complies with legal data transfer and processing requirement. 

Content Retention and Data Recovery 

Employees must be able to work on documents and maintain compliancy with policies covered under content retention. Office 365 allows employees to edit records, while maintaining a copy in their original location, and time-stamping the interaction. This ensures that records are kept in a non-erasable format and can't be re-written with timestamps that can't be altered. All data is backed up to data centers, both in the resting and transit stages. Since many institutions are required to keep records for five years or more, a cloud-based solution is an obvious answer to records storage. 

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Mobility 

As more employees work from locations other than the brick and mortar office, they must be able to stay connected in a fast, easy, and secure way. Cloud applications allow team members to access any information they need, at any time, from any location. Cloud applications such as Office 365 also offer a high level of flexibility, giving businesses the ability to scale up or down as demands change. With additional apps like OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, collaboration is simple and positively impacts company productivity. 

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The Cloud Vendor will have good, if not better, security and support for security than any one company" - Duane Tharpe, Cloud-Elements

Security 

Over 90% of businesses  in the United States are now on the cloud in some form, and over 64% of businesses consider cloud safer for document storage than on-premise systems. Microsoft is one of the most secure cloud service providers, with added compliance capability, improved threat protection, tracking of unusual activity, and information rights management. Office 365 cloud infrastructure  is monitored 24/7, with multi-factor authentication, encryption, threat management, and file/data integrity prevent or detect any tampering of data. Companies in the financial sector have a better chance of avoiding a breach with cloud service security features than those without the numerous added layers of protection. 

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Better Business Through Cloud Services

The Financial industry has a lot of hurdles to jump when it comes to the requirements of the business and the needs of customers. Cloud services like Microsoft allow companies in the financial industry to lead the way in collaboration, innovation, customer service, and security, while simultaneously lowering costs and increasing productivity. 

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