BANKING TECHNOLOGY | Roxanne Uy, Singapore

Cloud vs virtualisation: What do bankers prefer?

HSBC says cloud is a more powerful concept but CIMB warns it still needs to prove its readiness to handle mainstream financial services applications.

ABF: Cloud vs virtualisation: Which approach is better? Why?

HSBC: John Laurens, Head of Global Payments and Cash Management, Asia Pacific
Cloud computing is far more powerful a concept than virtualisation because it addresses the software cost-of-ownership question, whereas virtualisation only reduces the hardware cost-of-ownership. Of the two, it is in-house software that drives most cost in an organisation.

Virtualisation, as a solution to hardware management, works by more effectively sharing computing resource among enterprise applications - allowing several virtual servers to share the same physical computer within a company.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, takes the full computing service outside of the organisation, enabling corporations to use computing power and execute advanced computing applications on demand provided by a third party. This creates far greater opportunities for an organisation to draw on computing power much more efficiently than via the traditional route of purchasing or developing in-house computing systems.

CIMB: Iswaraan Suppiah, Head of Group Information and Operations Division
We have started with virtual servers and storage, and will be moving ahead more aggressively as we experience the cost savings from improving utilisation and flexibility based on capacity-on-demand. Meanwhile, Cloud still needs to prove its readiness to handle mainstream financial services applications. Apart from demonstrating readiness on security robustness, there is also the challenge for Cloud vendors to change the perception of both the financial services industry and the regulators.

At CIMB, as we move to a "Private Cloud" model, we expect to achieve all the benefits of virtualisation and most of the benefits of a Public Cloud. While the price of adopting a Private Cloud may not be as competitive as adopting a Public Cloud, we strictly uphold the importance of data security and privacy of our customers and the bank. 


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