More banks are signing up for IBM's financial services cloud collaboration with Bank of America, including French giant BNP Paribas, IBM announced Wednesday. MUFG Bank, the largest bank in Japan, is also exploring the financial services cloud deployment, though it's not publicly stating its timeline, Hillery Hunter, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM Cloud, told Industry Dive.
IBM is forming a Financial Services Cloud Advisory Council to advance its cloud policy framework tailored to the highly regulated sector. It's led by Howard Boville, a senior vice president for IBM Cloud who left Bank of America this spring to join IBM. Tony Kerrison, Bank of America's current chief technology officer, will also serve on the council.
IBM has more than 30 partners operating as independent software vendors, adhering to the security and risk requirements for financial services, in its effort to implement the financial services cloud.
Eight months after the announcement of the financial services-focused public cloud, IBM has "several" clients beyond publicly announced partnerships.
For IBM, more customers, partnerships and a geographic expansion with focus beyond the U.S. are signs of the "momentum and investment" behind the financial services cloud, Hunter said.
One financial services organization leaning on the cloud can serve as an example for others to migrate. Bank of America runs a "proprietary, private cloud," which operates the bulk of its technology workloads, David Reilly, the bank's chief information officer for global banking and markets, said in the announcement.
The bank's partnership with IBM is centered around creating an equally reliable third-party cloud, focused on the financial services industry's leading concerns.
For years, MUFG has shifted IT workloads to the cloud, Hiroki Kameda, CIO of the bank's managing corporate executive group, said in the announcement. The IBM financial services cloud will be well suited to facilitate the "digital reinvention" of Japanese financial institutions, Kameda said.
There's room to grow in the heavily regulated financial services cloud space. About 16% of financial services companies have adopted public cloud, compared with a market average of 24%, according to CIO Surveys, Equity Analyst Research, 2019-2020.
IBM has a lot to prove in the cloud sector. It falls well behind leading companies in market share. But with a new CEO at the helm and the integration of Red Hat's portfolio, the company is focused on the opportunity of hybrid cloud.
Although the company lacks the advantage Amazon Web Services has, there is still room to grow in cloud adoption. Organizations are relying on multiple clouds, both public and private, Hunter said. For IBM, the market opportunity lies in offering consistency, orchestrating how companies view and manage their cloud resources.
Banks in particular need the overlay of consistency, she said. Random usage is not a "cloud architecture or a cloud strategy," Hunter said.