The Year of the Cloud in Banking [a report by Kochański & Partners]

1 July 2020 | Knowledge, News

The banking sector has declared the year 2020 to be the “year of the cloud”. Not long ago, the Polish Bank Association (ZBP) estimated that it would take banks two to five years to make the transition from an early adoption phase to the phase of mainstream use of cloud computing. Today, there is no longer any doubt that investments by technology giants, a more lenient regulatory approach to cloud deployments and the coronavirus pandemic will significantly accelerate this process.

”Cloud cover” in Poland

According to Eurostat data, only 20% of Polish companies use cloud computing. We are far behind the European leader – Finland, where cloud solutions are used by 65% of businesses. Nevertheless, the sales of cloud computing solutions in Poland are expected to grow dynamically. This will be facilitated by investments from global technology giants such as Microsoft and Google, who set to invest billions of dollars on cloud computing development in Poland.

Cloud computing technology offers many benefits such as reduction of IT costs (from 20% to  50%) and significant acceleration of processes like data analysis or preparation of reports. For many companies, cloud is also an important means of implementing the digital transformation of their infrastructure. In line with this, an increasing number of organisations, including from the financial sector, state they are planning to implement a cloud strategy in the coming years.

Cloud computing in banking

Until now, banks treated cloud computing solutions with some reserve due to concerns about cybersecurity. However, the pandemic has forced a rethinking of their approach. Indeed, recent weeks have seen a significant acceleration in the implementation of cloud projects in banks, driven by the need to adapt infrastructure to the new reality. Clearly, data security remains vital, but it no longer presents a significant barrier to the cloud.

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has also recognized the growing importance of cloud computing. On 24 January 2020, it published a communication presenting guidelines, recommendations and explanations to enable banks in Poland to efficiently and effectively implement cloud services.

The transition of Polish banks to the cloud is also being facilitated by the “Cloud Computing Implementation Standard”, the so-called PolishCloud, developed by experts from Kochański & Partners in cooperation with representatives of banks and Accenture under the auspices of the Polish Bank Association. This contains a practical review of all existing legislation related to cloud computing services for the financial sector and is thus an invaluable tool and roadmap for banks and financial institutions.

Education first

Education is the first and crucial step to effective implementation of cloud computing technology in Polish banks. In the strictly regulated financial sector, it is essential that the entire organization – IT departments, managers, legal and compliance departments, architects and HR staff – understand how cloud computing works. However, surveys reveal that many companies lack competence and knowledge in the field of cloud solutions. Hence the PolishCloud Academy initiative, created by the Polish Bank Association in cooperation with its partners:  Google, Microsoft, Operator Chmury Krajowej, Accenture and Kochański & Partners. This is the largest free series of courses for bank representatives in Central and Eastern Europe, designed to prepare the financial industry for the upcoming technological and organizational changes on the horizon.

European banks in the cloud

Cloud deployment is nowadays a priority to maintain competitiveness in the financial market. Many European banks already use cloud computing, which contributes to their efficiency and coordination within the organization. BBVA, a Spanish multinational banking group, through its investment in cloud technologies, has created a cooperation platform for its employees. With cloud computing, Moneta Bank, the largest Czech bank, has gained a flexible infrastructure to quickly implement changes and respond to customer demands.

A particularly interesting situation can also be observed in Italy, where Intesa Sanpaolo bank recently announced its cooperation with Google, with the ambitious goal of building an innovative technological infrastructure in Turin and Milan.

Banca Transilvania has also followed suit, adopting a cloud solution enabling it to save a total of 41 working days in the risk and security department. The Romanian bank has also introduced an automated customer service system, thus streamlining and improving customer service and making considerable financial savings.

Polish banks are slowly reaching the clouds

In Poland, Idea Bank was the first bank to implement advanced cloud technologies. Through the transition to the Office 365 environment, bank employees can make use of the latest cloud solutions. PKO BP, the largest Polish bank, also announced the transfer of applications to the cloud. This decision stems from the Road to Cloud strategy defined at the beginning of 2020, based on which a map was developed for migration to the cloud in a hybrid multi-cloud architecture. With the use of cloud technologies, PKO BP wants to build the safest and most comprehensive solution for its customers and provide a versatile platform of banking services, products and payments, enabling businesses to create a virtual company in the cloud.

Download report

Latest Knowledge

Brexit | The current impact of the UK’s exit from the EU

Only a few years ago, Europe faced a major upheaval to the international economy with Brexit, i.e. the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. This event, like the war in Ukraine or the COVID-19 pandemic, has had significant consequences for the global economy, affecting the quality of our daily lives.

The European Union at war with disinformation

Functioning in an information society generates a number of challenges that both economic operators and private citizens must face. The foundation of a healthy system relies on the ability to sift true information from false, which today is becoming increasingly difficult in an increasingly complex and technological world.

Over EUR 600 billion today – and the value of war loss in Ukraine is rising

According to analysts and economic experts, Ukraine could eventually suffer losses of up to EUR 1.3 trillion in 2014-2026. Assuming a favourable scenario under which the Russian Federation would pay war reparations, it will still not have sufficient financial capacity to cover even a greater part of this amount. Therefore, the priority for Ukraine should be strategic economic cooperation with European Union Member States.

Polish Deal 3.0 – transfer pricing | Tax Focus

On 28 June 2022, a draft of further amendments to the Personal Income Tax Act and other acts – Polish Deal 3.0 – was published on the Government Legislation Centre website (draft No. UD404).

Polish Deal 3.0 | Tax Focus

On 28 June 2022, a draft of further amendments to the Personal Income Tax Act and other acts – Polish Deal 3.0 – was published via the Government Legislation Centre website (draft No. UD404).

Rebuilding Ukraine | What to do today and after the war is over

For a new Ukraine, the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure are believed to be the main areas of development. 33,700 sq.m. of residential property, 300 bridges and over 40 railway bridges are already lost or destroyed. 640 medical facilities and 40 institutions of secondary and higher education, 620 kindergartens are destroyed or under occupation.

Investments planned in Poland 2022-2023 | Roads & Motorways, Railways, Energy

Every year, the Polish state allocates nearly EUR 45 billion for purchases via public procurement. The coming years will be a time of revolutionary change in Poland in terms of the infrastructure and energy sectors, and so we expect the Polish public sector to maintain and even increase its spending levels in the near future.

Landscape resolutions – a relief for the landscape vs. property rights

Although the number of landscape resolutions nationwide remains small, an increasing number of cities are deciding to draft and enact such resolutions. While, on the one hand, there is a vital need to regulate the advertising chaos in Poland, on the other hand, the interests of advertising-related service providers should not be neglected, thus, the requests of offices, hotels, shopping malls or arcades and other businesses should be taken into account while drafting new resolutions.

Tenders for Ukraine | Current status, rules of participation and prospects

Rebuilding infrastructure and meeting the current needs of citizens are among the most important tasks facing Ukraine today. This requires not only funds, but above all effective planning and execution – which in practice amounts to tenders and procurement processes. More than 100 such tenders have been held in just the past few weeks.