Cloud computing – Swiss Cloud

Cloud computing – Swiss Cloud

Using cloud services increases the competitiveness of the banking sector. The cloud service pro-viders are in the starting blocks. To successfully migrate the banks’ IT to the cloud, a number of legal challenges must now be resolved.

For banks, cloud services enable efficiency gains, but also new business models

Many of us probably already use cloud services in our day-to-day lives without even being aware of it, for example when we send e-mails, stream music or films, or save our latest holiday photos. Cloud services also offer banks and financial service providers numerous opportunities for increasing efficiency and for new business models.

A prerequisite for success in the banking business is the ability to adjust to new developments with agility. Because of their specialisation, cloud service providers can usually provide their corporate customers with new business functions faster and more seamlessly than internal IT departments. In addition to this, companies can combine services almost entirely as desired. With the migration to a cloud infrastructure, they can, for example, minimise the need for development or acquisition of the corresponding competencies and resources within their in-house IT infrastructure. Thus, the cloud is particularly attractive for small institutions. Certain technologies that were previously reserved exclusively for big companies are also becoming accessible to small banks and make significant economies of scale possible. This is also important because the current requirements in terms of IT security, updating necessary patches and managing the IT infrastructure lifecycle translate into a scope of IT operations that can be difficult to afford, in particularfor smaller institutions.

Moreover, a cloud opens new areas for experimentation with new business models. With the help of partnerships, innovative ecosystems can be built and as a result, value chains can be reshaped. This is a way, especially for small banks, to overcome market entry.

Overcoming legal challenges in a business-friendly manner

A number of cloud service providers already have an offering in Switzerland or have announced that they will be introducing such an offering. Because of their specific needs, banks cannot yet make full use of these services, for example for customer-related data. Ensuring supervision, adhering to bank client confidentiality and the involvement of sub-contractors by cloud providers are some of the legal challenges that must be resolved.

Position of the Swiss Bankers Association

Because of the strong potential that lies in the area of cloud services, the Swiss Bankers Association is highly committed to improving the framework conditions. The authorities, providers and the sector are in close dialogue regarding this matter.

Our work in this area focuses on defining technical, organisational and legal measures as they relate to ensuring data security and upholding regulatory requirements. However, each bank must develop its own strategy for if, how and which services are migrated to the cloud.