Migrating your data and services to a public cloud service like Google Cloud offers multiple advantages, including increased flexibility and agility, new efficiencies, and reduced costs. But to fully realize those benefits you must first implement a foundation for your transformation correctly. That’s especially true for banking and financial services (BFSI) sector migrations, which are characterized by added complexities that make them highly challenging to execute successfully.
A key tool here is to build an optimum cloud service landing zone. This is a designated area within a public cloud set up in advance to meet your organization’s specific migration requirements. Preconfigured to contain every one of the services, hierarchies, capacities, and permissions your developers need to start building their applications, landing zones speed your cloud migration and thus your organization’s ability to quickly innovate and grow.
Without a landing zone, your developers would first have to build the entire structure upon which their cloud applications will rest, a job for which they typically have neither the expertise nor organization-wide perspective, and one that at the very least would massively slow down the migration process.
A well-designed landing zone also lets you take advantage of the new functions that Google Cloud and other major cloud providers regularly add to their cloud offerings, accessing them with a single click as soon as you are ready to use them. And it reduces the chances that your migration will be missing crucial elements, which you would then have to build, or has needlessly duplication.
Overall, landing zones maximize the chance that you will take full advantage of your migration, achieve those gains as quickly as possible, and have the flexibility to evolve your cloud as needed. But building them right is a lot easier in some sectors than others. Landing zones for BFSI transformations are a good case in point.
Complex landing zones for complex BFSI transformations
Major BFSI institutions typically offer a broad range of services to a wide range of clients across multiple geographic markets, and their landing zones need to accommodate that complexity.
Their institutional structures can span retail, commercial, and wealth management groups, for example, each of which will differ in how they approach their customers, the services they offer, the applications they run, and how they store and analyze their data.
In addition, financial services providers are highly regulated, needing to comply with complex rules about data backups and who may access their customers’ data. These rules vary by region and individual groups within an organization will likely work within different regulatory footprints, with some working under specific national regulatory constraints and others across national boundaries.
Financial services providers must also navigate a tension between delivering the best possible user experience and carefully maintaining data privacy. They have a clear incentive to mine customer data to provide services such as timely loan offers, customized financial advice, or real-time balance-sheet tracking that will help differentiate them from their competition. But at the same time, privacy rules in many parts of the world strongly limit how they can store or sell personal financial information, constraining in turn how their customized services can be built, delivered, and maintained.
All of this must be accounted for when building landing zones for BFSI migration.
Using templates to accelerate adoption
It’s common for transformation teams to use templates when creating landing zones. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, after all. Standard approaches to key system elements like identity provisioning, resource hierarchies, network design, and security controls can meet many developers’ immediate requirements and provide an adequate framework for modular extensions to be added as needed. Basic templates are easy to find. Google Cloud, for example, offers both instructions for creating them and links to pre-built, production-ready template models.
Using templates further speeds cloud migration, offering immediate value for both technical users and the business overall. They can also be reused when expanding a specific business into a new geographic region, or as the basis for new templates that underpin the migration of new service categories into the cloud.
Templates make management and governance easier, too, since they help ensure that both your landing zone and resulting cloud deployment are structured in ways that have been tested and refined over time and operate in a manner that is at least somewhat familiar to their users.
All of this is true for BFSI landing zones, where well-designed templates offer the same advantages in terms of faster adoption, increased efficiency, and flexibility for future growth. However, in the same way that BFSI landing zones are unusually challenging to build, their templates are equally hard to get right.
When building a complex landing zone, a trusted partner is key
While there are plenty of ways in which BFSI templating can go wrong – we’ve seen banks build applications for specific use cases into their templates, for example, which just adds time and makes them less fit-for-purpose – you can take steps to maximize your chances of success.
By far the most impactful of these is to work with a trusted partner with experience in the sector. Wipro FullStride Cloud Services has built Google Cloud-based templates and landing zones for a wide variety of financial organizations offering different combinations of services, within varied geographic groupings, subject to many different kinds of regulatory requirements.
We use that experience to keep improving the templates we share with new partners, which keeps improving our speed of landing zone design and instantiation. Over time we have also developed an array of bespoke tools that allow us to further accelerate template and landing zone development.
In addition, we understand that migration paths depend on an organization’s existing infrastructure. Some start with a legacy mainframe, others with micro services, or a hybrid cloud approach. That starting point will clearly impact landing zone design. Similarly, different groups within an organization can be at different stages of readiness for cloud migration, both technically and in terms of accepting the need to move their operations into the cloud.
Existing mindsets impact forward planning, too. If your migration team is heavy on mainframe or legacy database experience, half of your organization might be happy with the template they build, but those used to dealing with microservices or virtual machines will likely struggle. Forward thinking leadership is key – beyond having the right team building your templates, they need clear goals and timelines if they are to achieve the migration on time and within budget.
The impact of a well-executed BFSI migration
Understanding the nuances of complex landing zone development for BFSI transformations has enabled the success of projects like our recent partnership with a major UK-based BFSI client where Wipro FullStride Cloud Services helped them establish a curated cloud-native foundation on Google Cloud working across infrastructure, applications, and data with aligned security and compliance. It was certainly complex, requiring a landing zone that accommodated over 2,000 constraints and more than 80 reusable templates. But it empowered our partner to reduce IT overhead by 30%, triple its speed of agile process improvement, and increase overall efficiency by 40%.
When moving to the cloud you have plenty of tools – like landing zones and templates – that can make your journey both faster and easier. Still, there’s a lot to do and a lot to get right. Wipro FullStride Cloud Services can take much of the work – and downside risk – off your organization’s shoulders, speeding your transformation and letting you focus on what makes your services unique.
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GM, Cloud Transformation
Wipro FullStride Cloud Services
Mahesh is a technologist at heart who enjoys working with people to generate new ideas and devise feasible solutions to broad business problems. He has 25+ years of global enterprise and startup experience across industries Healthcare, Banking & Financial Services, social media, B2B, Manufacturing and Technology. He is responsible for building GTM channels and solutions with Wipro FullStride Cloud Services and Google Cloud.