The importance of a migration strategy for financial services firms

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The Significance of a Transfer Plan for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions have a rich history of utilizing virtual machines (VMs), and similar to other sectors currently, financial services firms are examining approaches on how to construct their cloud infrastructure using VMs and application development. Whether seeking cost reductions, enhanced DevOps capabilities, or scalability (likely all three and more), organizations perceive an opportunity not just to transfer but to modernize.

As expected, virtualization was a major focus at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Various sessions were dedicated to the subject, and despite being a technology-centric event, the financial services industry had strong representation.

A panel of Red Hat financial services professionals recently talked about the trend. Aric Rosenbaum, Red Hat Chief Technologist, Global FSI, summarized the drive behind the virtualization topic by stating, “{Financial Institutions} aim to enhance their bottom line, which means maximizing efficiency. You want to reduce your marginal transactional cost to zero by simplifying and appropriately scaling tasks. If three teams are undertaking a task that could be handled by one, does that make sense?”

The Three Key Considerations Shared by Customers at Red Hat Summit

During Red Hat Summit, customer feedback highlighted several crucial factors that all financial services entities should contemplate when creating a VM migration strategy.

  1. Evaluation: Bring all stakeholders together first. A comprehensive evaluation of existing VMs can help avoid unexpected hurdles during migration. Early identification of dependencies, performance needs, and critical workloads is essential.
  2. Monitoring Progress: Commencing with a small set of VMs to validate the migration process helps in establishing a reporting structure to follow. Maintaining a “single pane of glass” is vital to keep everyone synchronized and streamline the process.
  3. Collaboration with Other Teams: It is crucial to communicate openly with other teams. Over-communication can prevent redundant migrations. For instance, if an application team has decommissioned VMs, there is no need to migrate them.

Beware of Challenges

  • Lack of Stakeholder Alignment: Ensuring alignment among all relevant stakeholders like IT teams, business units, vendors, and management on the migration strategy and goals is crucial to prevent delays and confusion.
  • Data Integrity and Security Risks: While starting with common and simpler VMs is a good beginning, secure handling of VMs with sensitive financial data is paramount. Your strategy should outline procedures and controls for compliance verification.
  • Resource Sizing and Scalability: It is essential to accurately size resources (CPU, memory, and storage) for VMs. Scalability is vital for future expansion.

Modernization in Mind During Migration

Many financial services clients have been on a “modernization journey” for years. With the rapidly evolving virtualization landscape, the migration of existing VMs has become a priority. However, migration is just the initial step. By having a unified strategy for the operation of both VMs and containers within your current cloud infrastructure, you can benefit from an integrated platform, simplify development processes, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Monica Sasso, Global Financial Services Digital Transformation Lead at Red Hat, succinctly put it, “Simplicity helps. It aids in cost-effectiveness and operational efficiencies. Why engage in multiple activities when unnecessary?”

Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization

Financial institutions are transitioning towards a single platform for efficiency and uniformity rather than having separate strategies for containers and VMs. With a unified platform, containers and VMs can operate in tandem, enabling teams to leverage a unified DevOps approach, thereby improving both speed and scalability.

Red Hat collaborates with financial services organizations to migrate VMs from existing environments to Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization. Whether migrating a few hundred VMs or several hundred thousand, the considerations remain the same. The migration to OpenShift Virtualization allows institutions to meet current infrastructure needs by reducing operational costs and enhancing IT efficiency while also meeting the modern DevOps necessity to innovate rapidly and boost agility.

Highlights to Remember

  • Comprehensive Planning: Gather all stakeholders together
  • Evaluation: Assess from all perspectives
  • Communication: Prioritize over-communication

Interactive Workshops

Red Hat provides workshops to assist financial institutions in evaluating, assessing, and analyzing their current virtualization and application landscape across their environments. These workshops help identify specific apps and VMs for migration or modernization efforts. To participate in a workshop in your locale or to learn more about hosting a workshop for your team, feel free to reach out.

Engage and Foster Innovation

If you require guidance or have queries on how Red Hat can facilitate the migration of VMs to a modern platform for your institution, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to support you through this transformative journey and ensure your financial entity remains at the forefront of compliance and innovation.

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