In 2020, the digitization of work accelerated across the board, as companies scrambled to support remote work, beef up security, and move on-prem tools to the cloud. In fact, the pandemic increased asset migration speed by a factor of 24, according to McKinsey.

Nowhere was this new directive (and the benefits that come with it) clearer than in the financial services industry. Because while the industry acknowledges that cloud is crucial for their success, they’re also known for being slow to get their cloud efforts off the ground. When they do, the rewards are fast and substantial.

In a 2020 survey with Tech Validate, 25 Atlassian customers in financial services told us about their big cloud moves, what inspired them to make those moves, and what happened afterward. 

Read on for their insights.

Why are financial services companies migrating to cloud?

Ask companies across a variety of industries why they moved to cloud, and more than 60 percent will tell you that cost savings and eliminating manual upgrades were their primary reasons.

Ask financial services companies and the answer looks a little different. Eliminating the cost of hosting and hardware is still a big priority, with 64 percent citing it as a reason for migration. And 52 percent still say eliminating manual upgrades was top-of-mind. But a significant 60 percent also say they were making the change because of a digital transformation directive.

This tracks nicely with other survey findings that tell us 60 percent of banks planned to increase spend on cloud computing and storage in 2020. And even pre-pandemic, 21 percent of financial services companies say putting together a digital transformation strategy was at the top of their digital to-do list, and 54 percent say they had a strategy ready but hadn’t started implementation yet. 

For those companies, it makes sense that 2020 was a tipping point, pushing a ready strategy into fast execution.

What’s better in cloud?

Cloud ranks as better than or equal to server across the board, according to our survey. But financial services companies are even more likely than other industries to rate certain features highly. 

A whopping 75 percent of financial respondents say innovation is better in cloud than in server (with 25 percent saying it’s equal and not a single survey respondent marking innovation as worse in cloud). 

Innovation in cloud

Cloud’s reputation for innovation is well-earned. Innovative new features, compliance options, and product improvements are constantly being introduced to our cloud products. To see what we’re working on now, visit our roadmap.

Change management tells a similar tale: 62 percent of financial services companies say it’s better in cloud and 38 percent say it’s equal to server (yet again, 100 percent satisfaction with cloud).

Other features that rank high for financial services include reliability (83 percent say it’s better in cloud), availability (79 percent), and automation (71 percent).

Speedy benefits for financial services

Survey says financial services companies are reaping a lot of benefits from cloud. But even better is the story about how fast they’re realizing those gains. 

Ask every industry how quickly they saw benefits after a cloud migration and 89 percent will tell you they were reaping rewards within six months. Take that same question to financial services and that number jumps to 100 percent. Every single person we surveyed said it took less than six months to start seeing cloud benefits. 

Higher-than-average savings

For financial services companies, cloud is also a savings machine: 92 percent of respondents say the move to cloud cuts admin time by at least 11 percent; 86 percent say they save 11 percent or more on hardware maintenance costs. And 82 percent record at least 11 percent fewer bugs reported by their end users.

That admin time savings is an important piece of the puzzle for Atlassian clients like NCR because it allows teams to focus on delivering value instead of updating spreadsheets.

We’re always trying to deliver fast, innovate fast, and create awesome customer experiences. It often comes down to people, processes, and tooling. We have thousands of highly motivated engineers with modern skills, but they were mostly relying on spreadsheets and Smartsheets to keep up with tasks. We wanted to take all that grunt work out of it so the teams could really focus on producing value for our clients.

Arthur Meloy, VP of Innovation and Development Transformation, NCR

Support for a cloud migration

So, what about the process of moving to cloud? How do things typically go for financial services companies? Survey says the answer is pretty great, with 100 percent of respondents reporting they were at least slightly satisfied with migration support from not only Atlassian, but solution partners and our migration tools (including our robust cloud migration center). 

Surprise! Migration is easier than you might think

Perhaps the best news yet is that migration is probably easier than you think it’ll be: 43 percent of financial services pros say it was easier than they expected, and 39 percent say they’re realizing the benefits quicker than they thought.

Not to mention that cloud can keep your competitive edge nice and sharp.

As a challenger bank, we need to constantly reimagine what’s possible. As an example, we’ll be one of the first banks in North America moving our core banking system to the public cloud. Atlassian Cloud allows us to take advantage of the latest and greatest features, but our number one priority is to keep our core competency very focused on delivering value, experiences, and services for our customers.

Daniel Broten, VP of Technology, EQ Bank

Financial services companies are feeling the love

While customers across industries report significant gains with a cloud migration, financial services are more likely than most to fall in love with cloud and see their digital transformation efforts win big.

These efforts may start with a digital transformation edict from the top, but they’re benefitting employees and customers at every level. And we’re pretty proud of that. 

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Financial services companies are winning big with cloud migration