Partners with Bank of America to create industry-specific platform
IBM, with the help of Bank of America, has designed a public cloud specifically for the financial services industry.
The Lowdown: The new cloud, announced this week, was created to address the specific needs around compliance, resiliency, privacy, and security of banks and other financial institutions, as well as industry ISVs and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers.
The Details: Bank of America, with 66 million banking customers, will be the first institution to run workloads and applications on the industry-specific public cloud. The cloud will run on IBM’s public cloud, leveraging Red Hat’s OpenShift technology as its primary Kubernetes environment for managing containerized software. It will include more than 190 API-driven Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services to create cloud-native applications.
The cloud platform will use a range of controls for financial services, regulatory workloads, multi-architectural support, and automated security, which will include high-level encryption certification.
In developing the cloud platform, IBM also is working with one of its business units, Promontory, a consultancy in financial services regulatory compliance.
Background: IBM has extensive history in the financial services world, with experience with the world’s 10 largest financial institutions. Moving some workloads to the IBM financial services cloud is the latest step for Bank of America, which is in year seven of its cloud initiative. According to Reuters, Bank of America – the second-largest bank in the United States – has reduced the number of data centers from 67 to 23 and the number of servers from 200,000 to about 70,000, saving the company about $2 billion.
The Buzz: “This is one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space,” said Cathy Bessant, COO and CTO at Bank of America. “This industry-first platform will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy, and customer information safety needs at the forefront of decision making. By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched.”
“The financial services-ready public cloud represents an ongoing focus from Bank of America, IBM, and Promontory to help develop a technology ecosystem where regulations can be addressed,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of global industries, clients, platforms and blockchain at IBM. “Together we plan to help our customer address their ongoing compliance requirements, coupled with highly scalable, standardized capabilities that will be built to help serve today’s modern financial services industry.”
“We recognize that we must help create an environment where financial services institutions can address their regulatory requirements and expectations,” said Promontory founder and CEO Gene Ludwig. “Bank of America, IBM, and Promontory are uniquely suited to help give the industry and vendors confidence in the quality of this cloud platform.”