blog It seems like it was only yesterday that Australia’s major financial services organisations were holding their noses and sniffing at the bad smell that they associated with ‘low-grade’ cloud computing services operated by offshore technology giants such as Amazon Web Services. At that stage, it was very much more the vogue for the banks and insurers to use infrastructure provided by ‘trusted’ providers such as Fujitsu, IBM, HP, CSC and so on. Well, how the worm has turned. It was only last month that it was revealed that National Australia Bank had switched its entire public-facing website into Amazon’s cloud, and this week Suncorp joined the throng, planning what The Australian describes as a “complete transfer” into the cloud. The newspaper reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“A very large cloud is forming over Suncorp as the financial institution looks at planting all of its 2000 applications inside external cloud computing providers Amazon, Oracle and others.”
More information on this project comes from iTNews, which has been on a junket to Las Vegas to hear Suncorp chief information officer Jeff Smith talk on the topic. Presumably there has also been blackjack involved.
Of course, NAB and Suncorp aren’t the first major Australian banks to jump on this trend. Readers who’ve been with us for a while will recall that CommBank chief information officer Michael Harte was singing Amazon’s praises some twelve months ago, and the CIO was actually working to get inter-bank cooperation with vendors and regulators on cloud computing as early as April 2010. However, we truly are now seeing a major trend. Huge financial services institutions are openly placing a lot of their server processing needs into Amazon’s public cloud. These are organisations with very high security needs, and very watchful regulators holding them to account. If they can do it, anyone can.