This report is a supplementary resource to the fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) master report, focusing specifically on cloud deployments within the financial services industry.
For the fifth consecutive year, Nutanix commissioned a global research study to delve into the current landscape of enterprise cloud deployments. The study, conducted by U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne between December 2022 and January 2023, engaged 1,450 IT decision-makers representing diverse industries, business sizes and regions across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ).
This report is a supplementary resource to the fifth annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) master report, focusing specifically on cloud deployments within the financial services industry. It sheds light on the cloud plans, priorities, challenges, and experiences of IT professionals operating in this sector, offering valuable insights for comparison with global responses and other industries. Gain a deeper understanding of the cloud deployment journey of financial services organizations and uncover key trends and benchmarks in this ever-evolving landscape.
of financial services will use multiple IT environments in the next 1-3 years
of financial services plan to be using hybrid or hybrid multicloud models in the next 1-3 years
of financial services see data-related needs as its top-ranking infrastructure decision criteria - security and flexibility just being it
01Hybrid multicloud adoption has accelerated and is expected to rise in financial services
The financial services industry has made significant progress in adopting cloud technology over the past year, with 64% of those surveyed using multiple IT environments – whether a mix of private and public clouds, multiple public clouds, or on-premises and hosted private infrastructure. This is higher than the global average of 60%.
Last year's results showed that while 82% of financial companies believed that a hybrid multicloud approach was the optimal IT operating model, they were 10 percentage points behind the global average in terms of adoption.
Despite this, other industries are working to catch up, with 74% of respondents planning to use multiple IT environments by 2026. The financial sector is expected to have slightly lower adoption rates at 71%. (Figure 1.)
In 1-3 years
Figure 1: Use of multiple IT environments
For cloud deployment models, the financial services industry has emerged as a frontrunner, surpassing many other sectors in embracing the hybrid multicloud approach. This model, characterized by a combination of private infrastructure and two or more public cloud platforms, exhibits the highest anticipated growth among all ECI survey respondents. Notably, 20% of financial services organizations currently operate hybrid multiclouds, outpacing the global average of 12% (Figure 2). The financial sector stands as the second-largest adopter of this model, trailing only the business and professional services industry, which boasts a 33% penetration rate. This remarkable adoption rate in financial services reflects the industry's commitment to leveraging hybrid multicloud deployments to drive growth and fuel innovation. (Figure 2)
Business and professional services (highest penetration)
Education, private and public (lowest penetration)
*Percentage of respondents in each group currently using private IT infrastructure in combination with two or more public cloud platforms.
The financial services sector also plans to increase its hybrid multicloud deployments by 15 percentage points, reaching a 35% penetration rate in the coming years. Additionally, the sector intends to rely more on multiple public clouds (multicloud) as the primary IT infrastructure, with an 8 percentage point increase. On the other hand, the use of on-premises private infrastructure and hybrid clouds is expected to remain steady, while reliance on hosted infrastructure, a single public cloud, and combined on-premises and hosted infrastructure will decrease. (Figure 3).
On-premises infrastructure only
Hosted infrastructure only
Single public cloud only
On-premises and hosted infrastructure
Figure 3 Financial services: IT models in use and planned (Q1)
*Exclusively in use/planned.
**Totals may not equal exactly 100% due to rounding.
When asked to name the single most important decision factor driving their IT infrastructure investments, ECI respondents provided a diverse range of answers, reflecting a wide spectrum of corporate priorities (Figure 4). Variables such as industry, company size, geography, local compliance regulations, business and sustainability goals, and internal IT philosophies and strategies all play a role.
However, the financial sector and global respondents prioritized cybersecurity above all else (Figure 4). This is not surprising, given the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks and the critical role that IT plays in financial services organizations.
Data services and hybrid cloud flexibility were cited behind cybersecurity as critical factors for infrastructure in the financial services industry. Data services have been and continue to be essential for financial services, and hybrid multicloud flexibility is allowing financial companies to optimize for the right cloud platform and its workloads.
It's worth noting that financial companies are also more likely than the global average to consider cost as a factor in IT infrastructure investments. This is likely due to the high cost of compliance and the need to balance security with cost-effectiveness.
Regulatory compliance is surprisingly low on the list of priorities for financial firms, with just 4% of respondents citing it as a top factor. This may be due to the fact that financial services organizations are already subject to a high degree of regulation and they may feel that they have adequate controls in place.
Other factors, such as data sovereignty, application requirements, sustainability, and performance, ranked lower for financial services organizations, with only a 4% mention, when making IT infrastructure decisions.
Flexibility to run across clouds and on-premises
Data services (e.g., files, blocks, objects)
Data protection and recovery
Data distribution across edge, datacenter, public cloud(s)
Ability to easily move existing applications to the public cloud
Regulatory concerns and compliance
Figure 4: Top-ranking infrastructure decision criteria (Q4)
Most ECI respondents agree that having a single platform to manage their diverse private and public infrastructures would be ideal. Among those from financial firms, 96% agreed, as did 94% of IT pros from the global response pool. It follows that most respondents mentioned data-centric issues as the most challenging aspects of managing growing hybrid IT environments that span multiple datacenter and cloud borders.
For example, those from financial environments chose security most often (49%) as a mixed-infrastructure management challenge (Figure 5). This was followed by data storage costs (47%), data analytics and orchestration (44%), and data synchronization (also 44%). Similarly, the global response pool mentioned data storage costs (43%) and data analytics/orchestration (43%) equally as top management challenges.
Although 96% of financial services respondents agreed that addressing their mixed-cloud management challenges requires visibility into all data across the extended IT infrastructure (Q11), only 42% reported actually having that visibility (Q9). This number is only slightly higher than the global response pool (40%). The visibility findings indicate a gap in capabilities, highlighting the need for integrated tools to improve hybrid IT operations. Without visibility, IT teams are unable to manage, secure, synchronize, or analyze what they cannot see.
Data analytics and orchestration
Data storage costs
Figure 5: Top data management challenges with mixed environments (Q9a
All respondents in the financial sector (100%) indicated that they had moved applications between IT infrastructures in the past 12 months. Nearly half (49%) cited a desire to accelerate data access as a reason for the move. This driver was followed by aspirations to improve their companies' security posture or better meet regulatory requirements (48%) and to gain the ability to integrate with cloud-native services, such as AI and machine learning (42%). In contrast, the full global response pool most often cited improving security posture and regulatory compliance (46%) as driving their applications to a different infrastructure (Figure 5).
Cost played the smallest role in decisions surrounding application movement across all industries globally. Generally, cost is decreasing in importance as both an investment and application mobility driver. For example, in last year's fourth annual ECI survey, 37% of financial services companies said cost had played a role in deciding to move an application (2021, Q17) compared to just 22% this year.
Improve data access speeds
Improve security posture and/or meet regulatory requirements
Integrate with cloud-native services
Meet sustainability goals
Gain better control of the application
Outsourcing IT management
Faster application development
Figure 5: Reasons for moving apps across infrastructure in the past year (Q6)
ECI respondents tend to be fickle in their attitudes toward IT cost, which seems to be inching downward on IT priority lists – falling to last on global respondents’ infrastructure criteria lists and tying for fourth in importance among financial companies. At the same time, most respondents rank controlling costs high on their list of challenges. For example, 87% of financial services respondents and 85% of respondents globally described cloud cost control as a challenge with managing their current IT infrastructures, and about a third of each group said it was a significant one. (Q5)
One explanation for this is that as the value and volume of corporate data continue to skyrocket, data management, security, protection, synchronization, and backup/recovery concerns are moving to top of mind. Data is a recognized business asset that must stay up to date, secure, and readily available for continued operations, analytics, and monetization.
In addition, infrastructure total cost of ownership (TCO) has many components that make it difficult to make a direct comparison during upfront decision-making, particularly given that public cloud offerings, pricing models and fees are in a perpetual state of change.
The fifth annual ECI findings generally indicate a notable increase in the use of mixed IT infrastructure, which spans private datacenters, public clouds and edge locations. Mixed deployments among financial companies are slightly ahead of the average at 64% penetration, and data security considerations drive many of the financial sector’s infrastructure investment and application mobility decisions. However, a desire to improve data access speeds was mentioned most often as causing financial services companies to relocate an application during the prior 12 months. By comparison, this factor ranked third among all respondents.
Increased infrastructure diversity and a heightened emphasis on data storage, management, security, and services are driving all IT pros to seek hybrid operations that transcend private and public infrastructure. Nearly all respondents, including 96% of financial service respondents, wanted a single place to see and manage the many aspects of their diverse infrastructures. As these capabilities emerge, respondents will gain access to unified tools that deliver visibility into where all data resides, allow IT teams to holistically manage applications and data, and enable them to make adjustments as needed to meet ever-shifting requirements for cost, performance, data protection and compliance.