Insight & Analysis

Press release: Future of Cloud in Banking survey reveals banks cloud transformation journey

Published: May 2022

17th May 2022Publicis Sapient, a digital business transformation company, today released its Future of Cloud in Banking report conducted in collaboration with Google Cloud.

Newspaper press release

The cloud state-of-play report surveyed senior banking professionals across Asia Pacific (APAC), EMEA and North America, revealing key insights into how far banks have come in their cloud transition journeys. The survey revealed that only 28% of banks, the “leaders,” have achieved transition of more than 30% of their applications in the cloud.

The report divided banks into three groups, gauging progress in each:

  • Cloud leaders (28%) have more than 30% of their applications in the cloud
  • Cloud followers (45%) have between 11% – 30% of applications in the cloud
  • Cloud conservatives (27%) have at most 10% of applications in the cloud

Jan-Willem Weggemans, Head of the Cloud Practice at Publicis Sapient, said: “We were very excited to work with Google Cloud, a world-leading provider of cloud services to banks on this survey to throw a spotlight on the state of progress in banks’ transition to the cloud. Cloud is the single most powerful way that banks can improve customer experience and simultaneously increase operational efficiency. We were encouraged to find that banks have a strong aim to adopt cloud, and that the leaders are well progressed in the project. However, we also found that the gap between ambition and execution is an issue in a significant proportion of the industry. Despite the lack of progress in some areas, 68% of banks believe they are ahead of the competition in innovation. This suggests some level of complacency. Of note, 44% have ambitions to have most or all apps to be customer facing within three years, which introduces a ticking clock element to gain competitive advantage.”

Georgina Bulkeley, Director of EMEA Financial Services Solutions, Google Cloud, said: “This report reveals huge ambition amongst banks to adopt cloud solutions to meet customer expectations and to remain competitive. We are delighted to be working with partners, such as Publicis Sapient, to deliver the benefits of cloud to banks across all our regions.”


Ambition levels

The findings revealed that many retail and commercial banks have big ambitions to increase the number of applications and data that are hosted in the cloud, signaling a major acceleration compared with their pace of adoption over recent years. Taking all regions surveyed together, over two thirds of banks want at least 30% of their applications and data to be in the cloud in three years’ time (close to triple the number of banks who have achieved that today); however, North American banks are the least ambitious on cloud adoption, with only 29% of banks in the region wanting their customer facing apps in the cloud within three years.

Obstacles to cloud adoption

  • Security concerns – 42%
  • Lack of cloud skills – 36%
  • Lack of internal understanding (highest among non-executive directors) of the business benefits – 31%

Ambition and execution gap

The report shows an ambition and execution gap, with only 44% of participants believing that business leaders in their bank understand the business-related possibilities and opportunities of cloud, and just 34% said the same about their non-executive boards. It also showed that a large number of banks are not prioritising investments in modern, cloud-native customer-facing apps, leaving opportunity for new cloud-native players or smaller banks with a digital transformation mindset to gain a larger share of the market. Twenty-two percent of bank leaders strongly agreed that they were not progressing with cloud investment and implementation as fast as they should be.

Maximisation of cloud and perception of benefits

Thirty six percent of respondents strongly agreed that their banks had not maximised the business benefits of their cloud investments to date. In fact, 44% cited the main benefit of adopting cloud as being the enhanced ability to automate processes, while 40% cited the enhanced ability to develop new products and services.

Regional differences

  • While 58% of APAC bank leaders and 40% in EMEA saw enhanced ability to apply advanced analytics (AI/ML etc) to data as a cloud benefit, only 29% in North America saw it as such.
  • 82% and 83% of banks in APAC and EMEA, respectively, plan to increase investment in cloud over the next three years. Comparatively, just 60% of banks in North America are planning to do so.

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