How serious is IBM about making an impact in fintech? The company, which demonstrated its wealth management technology at FinovateSpring in 2016, launched its first financial services-ready public cloud today and revealed Bank of America as its initial partner. The two companies have been working together on the project for more than a year, and the bank said it plans to host key applications and workloads on the platform to better serve its 66 million banking customers. According to reporting in The Wall Street Journal, Bank of America currently has 80% of its IT workload on a private cloud and has been planning a move to a public cloud since 2012.
The IBM financial services public cloud will help banks and other financial services companies more effectively engage with qualified technology vendors. In its statement, IBM highlighted the fact that the cloud will also help financial services firms meet regulatory, security, and resiliency requirements for working with fintechs. The company added that the solution is the only industry-specific, public cloud platform to provide preventative and compensatory controls for financial services regulatory workloads, multi-architecture support, and proactive and automated security.
Bank of America helped IBM develop the platform’s control requirements which, for example, will help both ISVs and SaaS providers of all sizes focus on their businesses rather than security, infrastructure, and compliance issues once platform controls are established.
Calling the pact, “one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space,” Bank of America Chief Operations and Technology Officer Cathy Bessant explained that the bank expects to give as much as it gets from the relationship. “This industry-first platform will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy, and customer information safety needs at the forefront of decision-making,” Bessant said. “By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly-confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched.”
The IBM financial services-ready cloud will run on IBM’s public cloud. IBM’s public cloud leverages open source technologies, including a managed Red Hat OpenShift environment, to support more than 1,000 enterprise clients. The platform leverages more than 16,000 production clusters, provides industry-leading compliance for data encryption, and relies on integration with IBM Security to deliver threat monitoring and management from a centralized security dashboard.
“The financial services-ready public cloud represents an ongoing focus from Bank of America, IBM, and Promontory to help develop a technology ecosystem where regulations can be addressed,” IBM SVP for Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain Bridget van Kralingen said. “Together we plan to help our customers address their ongoing compliance requirements, coupled with highly scalable, standardized capabilities that will be built to help serve today’s modern financial services industry.” Promontory is an IBM business unit focused on financial services regulatory compliance consulting that was brought in to ensure an environment that was compliant with relevant regulations.
In addition to its FinovateSpring appearance in 2016, IBM also participated in our developers conference, FinDEVrNewYork 2017. The presentation by CTO Tom Eck discussed how thousands of developers were successfully building and monetizing “cognitive-enabled” financial services apps quickly and at scale.
Founded in 1911, IBM is based in Armonk, New York. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker IBM, and has a market capitalization of $122 billion.