Transformation in Treasury
The move to the cloud – what does it mean and what should you consider?
by Kevin Potter, vice president, Hosted & Managed Services, SunGard
The world of technology delivery is changing as both corporations and ﬁnancial service institutions increasingly look to consume both products and services from the cloud. Industry experts agree that long-term value can be derived from a service-led approach including faster application deployment, low-impact maintenance, and lower, transparent costs with no requirement for consumers to make a signiﬁcant investment in on-premise IT infrastructure.
This value however is not without risk, and organisations looking to consume cloud-based services must be conscious to extend their traditional security boundaries to ensure data is appropriately managed and secure, and that services being consumed go through a thorough risk assessment. In this emerging landscape, complete data lifecycle management should be core to the emergence of next generation IT strategies and drive tactical and strategic decision making. Moving forward, the maturity of vendors in this space should become a key differentiator in any assessment programme.
Securing your data, securing your business
Protecting sensitive ﬁnancial data is of paramount importance. Whilst hosted solutions are often ﬂexible and may offer many of the beneﬁts of cloud-based delivery including ease of access, minimal IT overhead and reduced total cost of ownership, they also need to be designed with all of the security and privacy controls that you’d expect from an on-premise deployment. SunGard’s hosted services customers use segregated environments and storage with private, encrypted connectivity to create a unique, end-to-end solution that encapsulates strict physical and logical security. Solutions are also offered with separate site disaster recovery and additional environments for testing and/or development requirements.
It is also important that services support staff have appropriate domain expertise and rigorous pre-employment security screening. When evaluating a provider, most companies will look for security controls and processes that are in line with industry best practice and have been assessed by independent audits.
Risk mitigation, predictability and efficiency
Traditional in-house or third-party teams supporting enterprise-wide treasury applications can often be challenged in executing these application support activities. The activities are also disruptive to the application stakeholders by taking their attention away from core activities, decreasing productivity and delaying the execution of critical financial transactions. Complex in-house or third-party outsourcing agreements may further complicate this issue as multiple areas of overlapping responsibility can be created, often with no direct contact between the users, software vendor, and software host. Central to the challenges is the fact that many of these resources are unfamiliar with the actual applications. For these reasons, the managed services offered by SunGard mean that responsibility for execution is always clear, that the domain and application knowledge is present and the dependent support channels are efficient.
How SunGard can help
SunGard meets its customers’ diverse set of requirements by not only bringing to market scalable, flexible, and industry-leading treasury solutions, but supporting these applications through a variety of managed services. SunGard’s Managed Services provide AvantGard Treasury customers around the globe with programme and change management, application management, upgrades, user security administration, report writing and system connectivity management with adherence to industry accredited delivery frameworks and best practices.
Managed Services are provided with the main goal of conducting the services in a highly efficient manner which are backed by clearly defined service level criteria. This allows the customer to greatly reduce their operational risk, drive cost predictability and reallocate non-value-added tasks to focus on strategic initiatives.
With dedicated support staff in each of the world’s major ﬁnancial services and technology hubs including a dedicated team based out of SunGard’s Global Technology Centre providing around the clock systems monitoring, management and optimisation services, SunGard’s AvantGard has our customers’ goals of operational excellence, system availability and unrivalled responsiveness at the core of our service delivery framework. In support of our hosted and managed customers we blend years of proven industry experience, functional expertise and operational best-practice with SunGard’s global leadership and long track record of providing mission critical hosting facilities and business continuity solutions. SunGard supports its customers with a unique services portfolio ranging from hosting and managed technical services to full application management and business process outsourcing. A managed services engagement with SunGard ensures reliable and secure business-led solutions with a long-term, predictable cost model.