How can a cloud modernization journey drive rapid growth?
FIS is a leading provider of technology solutions for financial institutions and businesses of all sizes and across various industries globally. They enable the movement of commerce by unlocking financial technology that powers the world’s economy. FIS’s employees are dedicated to advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests through their innovation, system performance and flexible architecture. They help their clients use technology in innovative ways to solve business-critical challenges and deliver experiences for their customers.
Facing macroeconomic headwinds due to rising inflation, higher interest rates and increasing cost pressures, FIS needed to address technology challenges that centered on modernizing a number of its existing solutions. They were looking to leverage cloud native technologies, and updating a few solutions running on legacy technology. Specifically, they were switching from an on-premises model where FIS is hosting software and virtual machines with a long and relatively manual installation process, to cloud technology with lighter server formats and software that is much easier to install and deploy.
The cloud modernization project would help FIS innovate faster; get new services out to its clients sooner; accelerate the onboarding process for clients; and improve the customer experience. Not only would the modernization help accelerate time to market and drive operational efficiencies and resilience for FIS, it would also help the firm realize its business goals of expanding into new geographies and increasing revenue.
Realizing that there were time constraints to take its solutions to market quickly to support clients’ growing requirements, FIS turned to the EY-Microsoft alliance to help it meet its business and technology challenges and start making its market expansion plans a reality. “We always start with what is best for the client,” said Heena Lee, Strategic Client Executive, Microsoft.
“EY and Microsoft have a long relationship, and EY has Microsoft Azure Cloud domain knowledge and delivery capabilities. Ultimately, we needed a partner that would work collaboratively with Microsoft and deliver the outcomes that FIS was trying to drive. The EY-Microsoft Alliance was the answer,” Lee added.
Cloud modernization enables FIS to quickly take solutions to market
FIS’s experience had been that the Microsoft cloud is a trusted, comprehensive, integrated and open cloud platform. It spans six critical areas — security, infrastructure, digital and app innovation, data and AI, business applications, and modern work and aligned well with the needs of FIS’s cloud project. Additionally, when EY became part of the team, it brought an innovative mindset, design thinking and a data-centric approach to the initiative. This included a great wealth of knowledge in building solutions in Microsoft Azure; cloud native technology; and very strong project management experience.
“At EY, we bring these disciplines together in a highly orchestrated and coordinated way, and in collaboration with Microsoft, we bring deep domain experience coupled with extensive technology capabilities and platform know-how to bring new innovative solutions to our clients in ways they had not thought imaginable,” said Dan Connolly, EY US Consulting Financial Services Cloud Leader and Managing Director for FSO at Ernst & Young LLP.
The FIS cloud modernization gives credence in illustrating that the cloud is transformative, creating a new standard for the way organizations and industries work.
Working with FIS, the EY-Microsoft Alliance team initially identified a set of high-profile, high-growth projects that would deliver value quickly and, more importantly, help the team learn what was working, not working, and how they needed to course-correct. The first round of projects also helped FIS developers see what was possible, giving them the ability to accelerate in the development environment, to rapidly help enable replication after the original projects were completed. “The team did a great job of collaborating, understanding FIS’s goals, and by doing that, defining what modernization looked like. We were able to come together and build out great targeted architectures that would provide the roadmap for how we would develop and modernize these solutions in Azure,” Connolly said.
The second round of projects focused more on production, helping FIS to streamline and automate its entire solution deployment process. As a result of the migration to cloud, solutions previously deployed in days or weeks can now be deployed automatically in minutes. For example, FIS can shave months off a project by immediately having its environment ready, going straight into product configuration.
Cloud modernization positions FIS and its clients for the future
Delivering value to their clients
The advantages FIS clients realize through the cloud modernization project include more flexibility in how they can deploy FIS solutions and faster time to value. In addition, they have the ability to use elastic scaling, where they can scale up and get more capacity when needed and then scale back down when they no longer need that capacity. FIS clients can experience improved operational performance and security. “The ability to automatically deploy and run our products in the cloud provides FIS clients with a reliable service that is updated on a regular basis with new business value and the latest security updates,” stated Scott Marean, FIS Chief Technology Officer for Lending, Investment Operations and Data Solutions.
And with many of its large financial institution clients needing the ability to run FIS products and store their data in different geographic locations — due to data sovereignty and data privacy requirements — cloud modernization gives FIS the ability to use a public cloud to host customers in locations throughout the world vs. building its own data centers and capabilities across each geographic region.
Modernization benefits for FIS
By leveraging cloud technologies FIS is able to innovate a lot faster, improve the cost and performance of its solutions, better the customer experience for all of its clients, and drive more revenue. Cloud modernization also positions FIS for the future in ways that it can explore new business models and expand how it goes to market by utilizing the public cloud. For example, in addition to going to market with its traditional product offerings, utilizing the public cloud enables FIS to break up its solutions into smaller offerings — selling just the offerings as a service — as well as have the flexibility of launching new solutions on demand around the world. The result is that the cloud modernization journey gives FIS the ability to grow into new geographies and to expand into new markets quickly and cost-effectively. A modernization of this nature further strengthens FIS's position as a market leader in financial services technology.
What’s next for FIS
“We’re really excited about the benefits we’re getting from this cloud modernization program and the collaboration that we’ve had with EY and Microsoft,” stated Tara Winters, FIS Capital Markets Senior Vice President for Managed Services and Cloud Strategy. She added, “We can now deploy modernized solutions more rapidly, and have upskilled our teams to be able to continue to develop in cloud native technologies to expand our capabilities more broadly for clients. We’re looking at what’s next, and how we can continue to leverage our relationship with EY and Microsoft to expand into other capital market solutions.”
The FIS cloud modernization project gives credence in illustrating that the cloud is transformative, creating a new standard for the way organizations and even industries work — being more responsive to their customers and the market, driving new ways of working and operating at speed, and having the ability to innovate with new solutions in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before.
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