Carmen Bangu
, April 2, 2024
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For competitive financial services institutions, digital transformation is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. These organizations must adapt to deliver new business opportunities and enhance customer value. However, as we know, doing so is not without its unique challenges.  

As with other highly regulated industries, financial services institutions grapple with a distinct set of considerations for digital transformation. Take security for example. Customers demand industry-leading security practices, regulatory bodies require visibility and auditability, and modern datacenter teams need consistency and predictability. It’s a lot. Enter Microsoft Azure.  

Azure has emerged as a game-changer for financial services institutions, offering solutions that drive efficiency, enhance security, and optimize costs – all critical factors for staying competitive in the ever-evolving financial services space. Whether it’s streamlining operations, safeguarding sensitive data, or maximizing resource utilization, we have seen firsthand how Azure is providing the ultimate foundation for financial services to thrive and remain competitive.  

A success story: transforming banking operations with Azure  

Before we dive in, let’s start with a success story. Alithya recently collaborated with a prominent bank that was seeking to accelerate their digital initiatives. Their goals included improving client services, empowering employees, and reducing operational costs. Alithya’s team of experts leveraged cutting-edge Azure cloud technologies, tailoring them to meet the bank’s specific challenges and requirements.

As part of this digital transformation initiative, the bank achieved:

  1. New capabilities: Fresh capabilities were introduced to enhance customer and employee experiences.
  2. Loyalty and growth: This initiative drove customer loyalty and contributed to customer growth.
  3. Efficiency improvements: Improved time-to-value, cost reduction, and increased agility.
  4. Data silo elimination: Data silos were removed which enabled greater access to actionable insights.
  5. Fraud defense: The bank strengthened its defenses against fraud.
  6. Innovation acceleration: Sustainable growth was facilitated through accelerated innovation.

As a result, the bank seamlessly transitioned from on-premises infrastructures to the cloud and hundreds of application environments now thrive in Azure centralized cloud spaces. At one point, this stood as one of Canada’s largest enterprise Azure implementations, a testament to how Azure can overcome operational challenges, drive efficiency, and deliver lasting value in the financial sector.  

Keep reading to learn how our clients, including the one mentioned, have leveraged Azure to revolutionize financial services, overcoming challenges and reaping tangible benefits.

Azure-driven business outcomes for financial services  

Comparison with on-premises solutions  

Firstly - financial institutions may be at the stage where they are weighing their digital transformation options. Here the choice between on-premises and cloud solutions becomes critical. With Azure, you can avoid hidden costs associated with maintaining physical servers, or manual deployment operations. Azure’s transparent cost tracking provides financial institutions with a clear understanding of their IT expenses, empowering them to make informed decisions.  

Streamlining operations  

Now consider a bank that is spending hours upon hours on server upgrades. With Azure, these upgrades are automated, freeing up valuable time for the bank’s IT team. The automation capabilities extend beyond server upgrades to include operational system upgrades, reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency. This streamlining of operations allows financial institutions to focus on their core business functions, enhancing productivity and service delivery.

Flexibility and scalability  

For financial services institutions, the ability to scale operations quickly and efficiently is crucial. Imagine a financial institution experiencing a sudden surge in users. With Azure, they can easily scale up their operations to meet this increased demand. Azure’s cloud services provide flexibility and scalability, making it easy to uplift existing databases or applications services tiering. This flexibility allows financial institutions to adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands quickly and effectively.  

Efficiency in capacity management  

Streamlined capacity management is crucial for operational efficiency. Previously, a financial institution manually expanded system capacity. Now, Azure provides high availability and maximum performance with the ability to control costs.

Security and compliance  

Azure ensures data protection, threat detection, and easy encryption. Services are hardened by technology ops teams, and Azure blocks external IPs to ensure data security. Additionally, Azure streamlines capacity adjustments—previously manual, now with just a few clicks—enhancing both security and overall operational efficiency for financial institutions.  Azure provides robust security features and compliance certifications, ensuring that sensitive financial data remains protected and meets regulatory requirements.

DevOps and automation

Azure DevOps provides tools and services for automating the software development lifecycle, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, and automated testing. By adopting DevOps practices on Azure, financial services institutions can accelerate software delivery, improve collaboration, and enhance productivity.

Cost management  

Lastly, let’s talk about cost management. Azure provides clear visibility into daily and monthly consumption data. Financial services institutions can easily track how much they’ve spent on specific services, such as app hosting. For instance, consider a scenario where databases were being refreshed and stored in Azure but not properly managed. With Azure’s transparent resource usage insights, any issues become apparent. Teams can then clean up and remove unnecessary servers, resulting in significant cost savings.  

Unlike on-premises solutions, where hidden costs often lurk in maintaining physical servers and applying patches, Azure offers a transparent cost structure. There’s no need for assumptions—just clear visibility and efficient cost management.  

Expert help for your cloud journey

The benefits of Azure are clear, and we’re here to help. No matter where you stand on your cloud-adoption journey, Alithya is your trusted partner. We accelerate the digital transformation process, reducing IT costs and seamlessly modernizing your applications. Our seasoned experts are here to guide you every step of the way. Whether it’s harnessing the benefits derived from Azure or tapping into our expert services, we empower your entire system evolution.

We understand the challenges faced by financial services organizations: an ever-changing business environment, regulatory pressures, and reporting requirements. We offer scalable technology solutions to streamline processes, eliminate redundancies, and provide valuable business insights.

Contact us today to optimize your cloud investments, streamline application migrations, and achieve remarkable results.

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