My conversation with this leading financial services firm was an eye-opener. Hearing first-hand how tough the regulatory environment is for these firms is no surprise, but it reminded me why they have shunned public cloud adoption for so long. Along with the healthcare industry, financial services firms are probably more subject to data privacy and security scrutiny than any other industry, so they need to be very careful when making technology choices. It was a pleasure to explore the possibilities that cloud desktops for financial services offer; here is what we discussed.
Financial Services Firms are Embracing the Cloud
This reluctance to move workloads to the public cloud is yielding to competitive pressures and often, to the need to update legacy VDI systems that perform poorly and consume too many IT resources to maintain. At the same time, most financial services CIOs have reached a comfort level with cloud security capabilities; for example, Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center is staffed by more than 3500 security professionals. Armed with AI to continually analyze possible threats globally, their capabilities are truly impressive and go well beyond the capabilities of most in-house IT teams.
To achieve the agility that cloud solutions can provide, IT teams must look for cloud solutions that bring greater efficiency, flexibility, and simplicity to IT, while also ensuring regulatory compliance.
This firm came to Workspot with two primary requirements: Meeting a new security mandate, and supporting remote workers scattered around the globe.
Use Case 1: Augment Security and Data Privacy
The ever-evolving regulatory environment is a big challenge for IT teams. They need to be ready for anything, so when a new security mandate was issued, the IT team had to take immediate action. In this case, they knew that virtual desktops were the answer, so they began researching the options. With somewhat constrained IT resources, the firm quickly realized that a traditional, on-premises VDI solution would be too demanding of IT resources and was far more costly than budgets allowed. When they discovered Workspot cloud desktops for financial services, they were very intrigued by the fact that we offer a turnkey, cloud desktop service on Microsoft Azure. With Workspot taking care of all the mechanics of delivering virtual desktops, the firm doesn’t have to worry about having in-house cloud skillsets, and we discussed how they might put their existing IT resources to better use on projects other than managing desktops. The security features of the service, which combines the inherent security of Workspot’s architecture in combination with Microsoft’s vast cloud infrastructure security, fit the bill for compliance. Not only was the security posture of the Workspot solution better than the alternatives they evaluated, but the solution was also far more cost-effective and flexible than competing solutions.
Use Case 2: Support Remote Workers with Exactly the Right Access
The firm has employees and contractors around the globe, and because the IT team had some experience with traditional VDI, they knew performance would be an issue for these remote workers. Unless they were close to the data center, latency was going to be a productivity-killer. Of greater concern, however, was making sure the firm’s IP was protected and not subject to theft. This meant that each person must have very granular access to only the apps and data needed for their role in the firm, and in some cases, neither screenshots nor printing would be allowed. Workspot Desktop Cloud is the perfect solution for this use case. Role-based access to apps is easy to set up, and as the global workforce expands, new desktops can be activated in minutes in the Azure regions closest to each user, ensuring minimal latency and great performance.
What’s most exciting is that by deploying Workspot cloud desktops for financial services in Azure, this firm can have the best of all worlds: Unprecedented flexibility and agility, stronger security and easier regulatory compliance, blazing fast performance for users, and the ability to easily address new use cases as they arise.
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