Amazon Web Services is dominating the cloud market. Synergy Research Group found that Amazon had 31% of the 2015 full-year cloud infrastructure market, well above Microsoft’s second place bid of 9 percent. It’s clear that Amazon is more than an online marketplace. But being the dominant cloud market player wasn’t enough. Amazon is now trying to grab control of one of the most lucrative sectors: banking. Contributors to The Wall Street Journal, Christina Rexrode, and Emily Glazer stated that Amazon is targeting big names like J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup in an attempt to show them that outsourcing can reduce their computing and storage costs. Two major concerns when it comes to technological adoption in banking (and any business in general) are cost and security. Because banks are built on the principle that money is very important, industry leaders will first need to be assured by AWS that the cloud will reduce their budget. This is the most difficult hurdle Amazon will have to overcome if it wants to land these banks. Banks used to manage their own data. This meant that banks had to build their own data centers which can be costly. These banks would be able to use AWS to eliminate the need to maintain their data centers, which means less overhead in terms staffing and power consumption. AWS’s cloud provides a level of scale that cannot be matched in a privately owned data center. After the cost benefits have been weighed, the real discussion can start. Banks keep the private financial information of clients. A breach of this sensitive information could have severe consequences for businesses. AWS will need to demonstrate to banks that it can protect this information. Security is a major concern in the banking industry. AWS’s work with the CIA is a testament to its security capabilities. AWS signed a 2013 deal with the CIA regarding their data sprawl. According to The Atlantic, the $600 million contract was intended to assist the agency in developing and maintaining a cloud that would allow for cooperation between departments. Although the intelligence community was able to gather information well, it had difficulty sharing it with clandestine organizations. This caused confusion because vital data was being spread between agencies, which led to confusion as different sectors had the task of figuring out what the missing puzzle piece was. While money was an important factor, the government spent $8 billion on IT in 2013 for the intelligence community. Security was clearly the most important aspect. While hacking a bank’s network can be problematic for its clients, a hack on a CIA cloud could pose a threat to national security. AWS realized that the CIA required a lot of security and came up with a unique solution. The company integrated the firewall of the agency into its public cloud service. The CIA now has the cost-savings and scalability benefits that a public cloud offers, along with the security it requires. If Amazon is to win the trust of a bank, it will need to highlight its cooperation with the CIA. Although banks may choose to build their own firewalls, this particular case shows that AWS can provide security for sensitive information. The CIA is committed to keeping information private. Cloud security is a concern. AWS is expanding rapidly, so get in as soon as you can! AWS isn’t new, but the service is growing rapidly. Amazon landing one bank could be the tipping point. This will allow other organizations with similar needs to begin to see the advantages of the cloud. AWS training can help you take advantage of its success. New Horizons Learning Group offers a variety of IT training courses for companies in the cloud that will help you to grow your career and learn about the most innovative technologies.
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