IBM serves up financial services-ready public cloud; Bank of America signs on

IBM is working with Bank of America to co-create a financial services-ready public cloud. (Pixabay)

IBM announced on Wednesday that has it designed a financial services-ready public cloud by collaborating with Bank of America.

Bank of America will put key applications and workloads on the financial cloud to support the privacy and safety requirements of its 66 million banking customers. The financial cloud, which is built on IBM’s public cloud and uses Red Hat's OpenShift technology, was designed to help address the requirements of financial services institutions for regulatory compliance, security and resiliency. Technology vendors who wish to participate in the financial cloud will have to meet the platform's requirements.

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IBM said the financial services-ready cloud was the only industry-specific public cloud platform for financial services regulatory workloads, multi-architecture support and proactive and automated security via encryption certification.

The financial services-ready public cloud could potentially enable independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers – from the smallest fintechs to more established vendors – to focus on their core offerings to financial institutions by using the controls and guidelines in the platform.

“This is one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space,” said Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer, Bank of America, in a statement. “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 collaboration with IBM marks the next step in Bank of America’s seven-year cloud journey, and reflects the bank's commitment to the security and privacy of its banking customers, while also creating an opportunity to address the regulatory and compliance requirements of the financial services industry.

IBM said the cloud project draws upon technology and financial services industry experience the company has made through its relationships with 47 of the Fortune 50 companies and the 10 largest financial institutions in the world. To help promote a regulatory-compliant environment, IBM and Bank of America are working with Promontory, an IBM business unit that does regulatory compliance consulting for financial services.

The financial services-ready uses Red Hat OpenShift technology as its primary Kubernetes environment to manage containerized software across the enterprise, and includes more than 190 API driven, cloud native platform-as-a-service (PaaS) services to create cloud-native applications.

IBM is looking for additional participants from financial services institutions and their suppliers to join the financial services-ready public cloud. IBM didn't say when the new financial services cloud would launch.