Addressing fears around regulations for cloud can open the possibilities for innovation

Despite all the benefits the cloud offers financial services, several concerns continue to hold the industry back from adopting cloud solutions on a wide-scale basis.  As a result, firms expect fairly strongly—as shown in the graphic below—that they will continue using private cloud solutions rather than the more cost-efficient public solutions.

 

Source: Secure Use of Cloud Computing in the Finance Sector, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, December 7, 2015.  

But as Accenture discusses in its report, Cloud…What’s Stopping You?  firms’ trepidation over moving to public cloud solutions are not based on today’s realities.

In this post, let’s examine this concern that regulatory authorities will not allow these firms to migrate their operations to the cloud.

To lay that fear to rest, we do not have to look any further than the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) itself.  In explaining its position on cloud adoption, the FCA stated in late 2015: “We see no fundamental reason why cloud services (including public cloud services) cannot be implemented, with appropriate consideration, in a manner that complies with our rules.”1

The FCA’s guidelines are in line with those established around the world by many other financial services regulators who support and provide guidance on cloud adoption. That is critical, because many firms operate throughout the European Union and elsewhere in the global financial landscape.  In the past, European Union regulators’ limited formal guidelines on cloud-based services delayed or blocked firms’ adoption of cloud solutions in some countries, according to the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security.2 Now, more regulators—including those in the Netherlands, Australia and Japan–have stated that they are open to firms adopting cloud solutions.

Meanwhile, many cloud providers are demonstrating their willingness to adhere to regulations and increase their own transparency. As a result, regulatory bodies have whitelisted many major cloud players.

What have your experiences been with the changes to regulatory policies regarding the cloud?  Please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

1. “Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third-party IT services,” Financial Conduct Authority, Guidance consultation 15/6, November 2015. Access at:  https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/guidance-consultation/gc15-06.pdf

2. “Secure Use of Cloud Computing in the Finance Sector, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, December 7, 2015. Access at: https://www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/cloud-in-finance

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