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How FSIs can ignite innovation and drive down costs with on-premises, as-a-service IT

Financial services institutions are looking for ways to counter market disruptors, free up cash and build a more agile workplace. HPE GreenLake can help them build a bright future.

By Toine Timmermans, HPE GreenLake FSI Incubation Manager

HPE-GreenLake-Financial-Services-flexible-consumption.pngAnyone who has ever checked an account balance on a mobile phone or made a credit card payment online is aware of just how much banking services have changed in the past ten years or so. The advances we’re seeing in our consumer lives are the result of sweeping changes in the back end, as financial services institutions push to digitize their offerings.

For many FSIs, there’s still a long way to go. Large, established institutions – some of which have been around for a hundred years or more – tend to operate on a massive installed base of legacy IT infrastructure. They’re under increasing pressure from highly agile financial technology (FinTech) players, often cloud-native organizations that have never owned a data center or a branch office.

In a recent PwC survey, fully 85% of CEOs at banking and capital markets businesses around the world said that they were ‘somewhat concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the speed of technological change as a potential threat to growth prospects.1 And that’s not the only technology-related challenge that FSIs face. What we’re hearing from customers is they’re looking for new ways to:

  • Reduce IT costs and free up cash. This was an important goal before COVID-19 hit, but the pandemic has certainly heightened the attention to infrastructure and operational expenses. Banks knew from the start of the outbreak, of course, that they would be facing a huge increase in underperforming loans, and they made appropriate reservations to cover that. The end of the crisis may be in sight, but finding the resources to develop new services will continue to be a challenge.
  • Innovate faster. The number of branch offices will dramatically decrease over time, although some banks will continue to maintain branch offices as a way to differentiate from other banks and target the “older” part of the population. But FSIs of all sizes are anxious to offer new services, such as digital lending, to maintain their competitive position and fend off the market disruptors. There’s a generational aspect here, with the increasingly mobile preferences of younger customers and the rising tech expectations of these sharing-economy-savvy consumers. COVID-19 has played a role, too, for example in accelerating demand for contactless payments. FSIs need a more adaptable, scalable infrastructure to meet these demands.
  • Enable the distributed workforce. The gradual reduction of the number of branch offices is not the only factor that’s reshaping the workplace for FSIs. Like most other sectors, the financial industry has seen a massive surge in remote capabilities in the past twelve months. I know of one bank that’s currently moving its entire workforce, some 100,000 people, to a work-from-home system powered by virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). FSIs’ ability to offer employees an intelligent, hybrid workplace will continue to be an important factor in attracting the best talent.

Right on the money: HPE GreenLake

An on-premises, consumption-based model can help financial services companies digitally transform and develop the new services that the market is asking for. HPE GreenLake is a pay-per-use, as-a-service platform that delivers the cloud experience to your data and apps, wherever they are located – from edge, to the datacenter, to colocation facilities. We install HPE equipment at the location you choose, with capacity right-sized for your business – you can easily and quickly scale up or down as your business requirements change. We meter your usage, and we bill you through a simple monthly invoice based on that usage.

HPE designs, installs and supports the solution for you. You get the security and performance on on-prem infrastructure with the agility of cloud. Plus, you get visibility into usage, costs and compliance across your hybrid IT estate with HPE GreenLake Central, our self-service software platform. (Read how HPE GreenLake can help you shape the future of financial services.)

With HPE GreenLake, you can:

1. Free up cash because you’re paying only for what you're consuming. HPE GreenLake for Financial Services is a true pay-as-you-go solution, so you avoid the need for large upfront investments. Overprovisioning is a common IT strategy – and a highly inefficient one – in many industries, but it’s especially prevalent in financial services. FSIs typically purchase a lot more compute and storage capacity than they need, sometimes overprovisioning by as much as 80 percent. That means equipment sitting on the floor, not being used, just ready for demand that may or may not come. With our cloud services, you solve the asset utilization challenge because you’re not investing in assets that you’re not using.

2. Refocus on innovation. FSIs don’t necessarily want to spend their time focusing on maintaining the current state of their IT infrastructure or installing and supporting new assets. With HPE GreenLake, you shift many of the operational requirements onto HPE’s shoulders, so your people can spend more time on creating new services and accelerating digital transformation. (Read how Hong-Kong-based YF Life Insurance International gained as-a-service agility with HPE GreenLake).

The as-a-service approach also enables you to get new projects up and running quickly. Financial services providers typically have long purchase cycles, sometimes up to a year. HPE GreenLake enables you to bypass these procurement delays; we can deliver and install the equipment at your location in as few as 14 days.

3. Transform to a hybrid workplace. In a financial services context, creating a distributed workplace that functions across remote locations, home offices and on-site locations – a truly hybrid workplace – means paying careful attention to privacy and security. With HPE GreenLake VDI, employees are not storing data on a laptop or mobile device that could easily be lost or stolen – instead, the data resides on central, secure on-premises servers. And as with all HPE GreenLake cloud services, you get the security and performance on on-prem infrastructure with the agility of cloud.

HPE is constantly adding new cloud services to the HPE GreenLake portfolio, and many are of special interest to FSIs. For example, we can help you eliminate security blind spots with our recently announced HPE GreenLake for Splunk, a platform-as-a-service for Splunk analytics. Splunk is a technology designed to investigate, monitor, analyze and act on data at any scale, enabling you to reduce security exposures, especially around containerized applications.

Keep an eye on this space

The on-premises, as-a-service space holds great promise for FSIs. HPE will continue to bring new HPE GreenLake offerings to market through our own innovation programs and through our partner ecosystem. 

The future looks bright for innovation throughout the financial services sector, too. What will we see next? Online mortgages that close in minutes, rather than weeks? Government-backed cryptocurrencies? AI-powered investment advice and real-time investing across geographies and currencies? The next ten years will be every bit as exciting as the last.

For more insights on HPE GreenLake for Financial Services and how it helps you accelerate time to market and decrease costs, check out this TelecomTV video: Benefits of HPE GreenLake for Financial Services Companies.

Learn more about HPE solutions for the financial services industry.

1. PwC, 21st CEO Survey: Driving Change: No Magic Solutions, Just Hard Work (.PDF download), 2018

Toine Timmermans is FSI Incubation Manager for HPE GreenLake.


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