Roadmap your bank’s journey to successful cloud adoption

Surajit Mitra,

Vice President-Technology

Published: July 5, 2023

The process and journey are often as important as the product and destination. This philosophy also applies to cloud adoption. While most modern banks have initiated various stages of cloud adoption, some still operate on legacy systems to conduct core business activities, including payments, risk and compliance, and retaining customer records. This often results in increased security risks, inflated costs, underwhelming customer experiences, and a lack of flexibility. By fully utilizing the cloud and engineering a cloud adoption roadmap, banks can safeguard their investment in cloud adoption and alleviate common data challenges, including governance, security, and quality.

Planning your cloud adoption journey: A multi-layered process

Cloud adoption is a multi-layered complex process that involves multiple facets of an organization and is best deployed through a strategic roadmap. To begin, conduct a detailed assessment of your current infrastructure and environment. Identify the actual current state of your bank and your potential future state. Are you currently or will you be going through a merger or acquisition? Identify and visualize the why, how, and what you plan to migrate. Your ideal roadmap should include key deliverables and objectives, tasks to complete, and tangible timelines for completion.

While developing your cloud adoption strategy, you should align your short and long-term business and organizational goals. Identify metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for a successful migration to help you decide whether a multi-cloud or single-cloud environment best fits your organizational migration needs. Also, are you planning to migrate your entire environment to the cloud or just one workload at a time? Assess whether your cloud adoption goals will support your future and long-term needs and consider accrual costs over time. Once you have conducted your cloud assessment, revisit your roadmap and make any necessary adjustments before deploying.

Common cloud adoption challenges and solutions to overcome them

Once you have established your adoption guidelines, you will want to address common cloud and data challenges and establish governance to alleviate risk. Many banks need support with data consolidation because the process is prone to errors, inconsistency, and duplication, and the lack of proper data management and governance results in poor data quality. Furthermore, security and compliance risks remain prevalent when dealing with sensitive and confidential data.

  • Establishing governance and alleviating risk through data management: During the big data revolution, companies began inputting their data into Hadoop-based, or open-source framework, infrastructures. Hadoop enables the distribution, processing, and storing of large datasets from a single computer to multiple computer clusters – making it easy for businesses to scale, save on costs, and be flexible with their data storage. However, Hadoop’s open-source infrastructure has limitations in governance and management, which can result in security issues and data leaks that turn into unstructured, chaotic data swamps. Banks can establish governance, alleviate risk, and improve data quality by deploying effective data management strategies. An essential step in this process is identifying who in your bank can access specific data types and why. This exercise will help uncover security gaps and enable you to establish the proper personnel, levels of access, and overall governance measures throughout your organization to improve security.
  • Leveraging the data analytics lifecycle to consolidate data: Banks can consolidate their data by leveraging the data analytics lifecycle – which incorporates how data is created and can be processed and transformed into relevant knowledge to meet and attain business objectives. Cloud adoption streamlines the data consolidation process - unstructured and structured data - into a data warehouse. Through data centralization and consolidation, banks can allocate all their data into one dedicated data warehouse to help them understand the information to drive insights and enhance their business. The more organized your data is, the more analytical insights you can derive and deep dive into data slicing and dicing across multiple data dimensions. 
  • Utilizing data fabric and data mesh architectures: Other effective data management strategies include data fabric and data mesh or a combination. While data fabric and mesh consolidate data across technologies and platforms, data fabric is technology-centric and reduces input into one centralized architecture. The data remains in domains in a data mesh, and each team is responsible for its respective data.

Preparing for security risks during cloud adoption

Data security is a significant concern throughout the cloud adoption process. Specifically, from an infrastructure standpoint: Can an external party infiltrate your database? Who can access specific data types and make changes from an application level, such as role or rule-based entitlements? Traditionally, banks with sizeable databases create large data warehouses and need help maintaining and enforcing robust data security. This process is often not transactionally bound, making it easy for data quality to suffer.

Best practices for risk mitigation

During cloud adoption and migration, prioritize setting up cloud data security best practices that maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability to reduce the risk of cloud-based application compromise. Ensure only authorized individuals or processes can access or modify your sensitive data to minimize tampering and maintain accuracy and integrity. While safeguarding from risk, clarify that data availability remains for the authorized individuals and processes as needed. 

Partner with Virtusa to roadmap your successful journey

Developing a rigorous adoption roadmap is the first step toward successful cloud adoption. Roadmapping enables companies to align their vision with short and long-term goals, make adjustments, and consider overarching objectives. Furthermore, banks and financial institutions can also benefit from prioritizing data management, governance, and security efforts to boost data quality standards and scale their business. 

Virtusa's deep and versatile banking industry knowledge helps us identify and comprehend our customers' challenges to implement the right-fit solutions. We deploy a combination of data practice embedded in vertically aligned business units and a Center of Excellence (COE) to analyze our clients' landscapes, identify their challenges, and understand their goals and objectives. From here, we develop suitable accelerators and solutions to help our customers' engineer adoption roadmaps that safeguard and leverage their cloud vision and streamline their adoption journey.


Surajit Mitra

Vice President-Technology

Surajit Mitra, Virtusa's VP of technology, leads the data practice for banking and financial services clients. Focusing on data and cloud adoption, he has spearheaded modernization and digital transformation programs at several global corporations. He has extensive experience with data warehouses, lakes, and a variety of services on AWS, Azure, and GCP. Surajit is an avid night and weekend coder and a part-time payments and fintech blogger.

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