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Cloud Platforms: How to Identify Them?

Banking CIO Outlook | Thursday, February 25, 2021

Public cloud organizations lower the cost of acquiring and managing their own networks because their cloud services use economies of scale to take care of those obligations.

FREMONT, CA: While cloud computing is fast becoming the standard in IT, many people still have issues identifying "cloud." Even among IT experts, the word "cloud" may refer to a wide range of different technologies that are only generally related.

This confusion makes it difficult for wealth managers to know whether the cloud is secure enough to support the critical information and workflows of their firms. The response to this question is not so much "yes" as "yes, it can be." Not all clouds are formed on an equal basis, particularly when it comes to management and infrastructure. In order to experience the full benefits of the cloud, wealth managers need to recognize which form of a cloud solution is ideally suited to their practice before they begin the transformation phase.

There are three types of cloud platforms:

Public clouds: Brands such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace are examples of public cloud networks owned and operated by providers offering cloud resources to several external clients on a pay-as-you-go basis. Public cloud organizations lower the cost of acquiring and managing their own networks because their cloud services use economies of scale to take care of those obligations.

However, public cloud providers offer exactly the same services, including availability, security, and configuration, to every customer—and their standard offerings do not include full IT management, troubleshooting as well as cybersecurity services. As a result, public cloud systems may not be the best choice for wealth management firms needing system flexibility to enforce security and enforcement controls around their data.

Private clouds: Private cloud systems provide greater data protection and enforcement capabilities, allowing wealth managers to remain completely aware of where their data is stored and to perform the appropriate security controls. Wealth managers who can show that their confidential client information is being adequately safeguarded would be in the best position to comply with changing cybersecurity regulations.

Private clouds can also handle legacy applications with little programming changes and allow RIAs and broker-dealers to customize desktop views and access controls to their liking.

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