Why Microsoft Azure is perfect for financial services

February 26, 2020, MOQdigital

MOQDIGITAL azure for finance

Azure currently takes up a healthy chunk of the cloud marketplace, and by accomplishing 73% growth in 2019, it’s clear that it will continue to occupy and increase its market share for a while to come. 

Clearly, Microsoft Azure fulfills a lot of cloud computing needs for a lot of people – but why do we think it’s particularly great for the financial services industry?

In short, the financial services industry is subject to a huge variety of competing requirements. Foremost is the ability to execute on their core functions – to invest money, to make informed choices about investing money, and to minimise risk versus reward. In order to do this, finance companies need to store vast reams of data and records going back decades, so they may attempt to extrapolate future events. They also need to satisfy a host of compliance regimes by storing, retrieving, and protecting their data.

When it comes to helping fulfill these three main responsibilities – core financial services, storage and retrieval, and compliance and security – only one cloud stands above the rest. Here’s why.

Microsoft Azure lets finance companies unlock analytics

If you’re entrusted with your customers’ assets, then you have a lot to worry about. How do you achieve the most gain for the least risk?

Nearly every financial services company out there is using some form of analytics to solve this problem, but these solutions come with their own risks. Data can be hard to integrate, or difficult to find in various silos. There is also a disconnect between the demand for analytics and the amount of available talent. Lastly, if you’re building from the ground up, costs will abound – consider a range between $7.4 -- $148 million AUD for a custom solution.

Microsoft Azure provides an analytics platform that’s specialised for the financial services industry. This platform provides enormous upsides without entailing the difficulty, uncertainty, or costs of creating a custom solution. In short, you can make faster decisions supported by better data. You can learn more about your risks and receive answers at cloud speed. You can mitigate the impact of adverse market events, allowing you to keep growing your investments when other portfolios sink.

Lastly, Azure lets you support these capabilities with advanced storage and regulatory compliance engines.

More than storage – Advanced Data Management for FSI

In order to create a successful analytics implementation, you need good data management. This doesn’t just mean having good data to start out from – it also means creating a rapid ETL pipeline that can convert data into a useable format, creating a well-organised data warehouse, and then securely storing your information after data is completed.

With Microsoft Azure, your data storage can be explicitly optimised to support advanced applications such as machine learning and forecasting. Azure Premium Blob Storage is an enterprise-grade storage system supported entirely by SSDs to enable the fastest response. What’s more, assuming a given level of operations, your Premium storage will have a lower unit cost than more traditional cloud storage methodologies.

On the other end of the scale, you’ll need a solution that can store highly compressed documents for years at a time, then retrieve them for auditors, regulators, and legal discovery at a moment’s notice. For these, Azure offers Cool Blob and Archive storage that helps you achieve your compliance goals in a cost-effective manner – while adding many other compliance protections in the mix.

Security and compliance for financial information

Document storage requirements may force you to store transaction records for years at a time and retrieve them on relatively short notice – within days or weeks. In addition, you need to closely monitor and protect this data, as well as your data that’s in active use.

In other words, you need to know who’s accessing your data, when they’re accessing it, and what they did. You also need instant awareness of actions that may contravene security – moving, editing, deleting, or encrypting sensitive information. Lastly, you need to understand and remediate any situation where your data may be unprotected – for example, if your storage blob is in an insecure configuration, you need to know right away.

Azure offers a specific program for financial services compliance. Its environment has been certified by auditors under PCI-DSS, and those who wish to create a cardholder environment within Azure may do so with confidence. Using Azure, you can automate your audits, manage your security under a central console, and detect, prevent, and mitigate fraud where it occurs.

Implement an Azure framework for Financial Services with MOQdigital

Here at MOQdigital, we specialise in helping Australian businesses compete in international markets by providing them with an Azure framework. With our expertise, you’ll be able to migrate key systems to Azure, take advantage of their built-in analytics and risk management framework, and keep your customer data secure. Contact us today for more information.