Hybrid cloud: 5 ways it can improve the customer experience

As you develop your organization's cloud strategy, consider our experts' insight on the advantages of the hybrid cloud
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hybrid cloud explained

Remember when mobile phone service providers owned your mobile phone number? If you wanted to switch to another provider, you had to change your number and make sure all of your contacts got the new one (assuming you were brave enough to deal with the headache).

There’s a similar situation today with cloud technologies. Should you place your bets on one cloud provider and keep everything in-house – or pursue a hybrid cloud strategy and avoid getting stuck?

We took that question to Red Hat’s former bankers, who identified five critical advantages of adopting a hybrid cloud model.

1. Enjoy more choice

You own your applications and data, so you can move it to your provider of choice without needing to start over. If your provider changes, no big deal – you’ve got portability capabilities and can scale up or down with providers as needed.

[ Enhance customer experience with automation. Download: Reimagining financial services transformation. ]

“Hybrid cloud is all about the freedom to select your chosen provider while continuing to manage and maintain your identity, your workloads, and your processes – all while being able to move from that vendor without significant changes to your operating model,” says Peter Magnaye, financial services solution architect at Red Hat.

2. Go beyond the status quo

Your teams can test ideas quickly, which helps foster creativity. Because the resources they need are available right away, they can try an idea, assess it, and pull it down if needed. This enables your teams to optimize and advance your business offerings and provides insight into the true costs of that innovation.

“Hybrid cloud has changed the game,” says Phil Avery, financial services solution architect at Red Hat. “Teams can thrive with more rapid innovation, more rapid development. You’re no longer waiting for any resources. You’re not limited in the scope and you can deliver so much more value to your customers.”

"Hybrid cloud has changed the game. You're not limited in the scope and you can deliver so much more value to your customers."

3. Improve customer stickiness

Harnessing the data you have helps you respond more efficiently to customers and anticipate their needs now and in the future – whether these involve saving, investing, a 529 plan, loan, IRA, life coverage, or other products. Guiding your customers through these key milestones and growth opportunities helps make their lives easier and drives customer loyalty.

4. Better meet customer needs

Faster access to customer feedback and an agile work environment enables you to go beyond the basics and offer your customers “nice-to-haves.” Leave your customers saying, “Wow, that’s helpful. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“They’re able to enter new markets faster than they were before. The business is able to do things they want – not just need – to do faster,” says Anthony Golia, financial services chief architect at Red Hat. “Plus, teams are happier; they are finding more success.”

5. Create more value

Hybrid cloud enables your team to innovate more, contribute more, and make a greater impact. The desire to make a more significant impact is one of the key reasons people leave the financial services industry for outside jobs. If you can bring more value to your customers and your team members, that’s a win-win.

[ Related read Digital transformation: Maximize customer experience in 3 steps ]

As regulations increase and evolve, you must be prepared to adapt. Adding to the complexity, no two situations are alike because talent and workplace cultures are all unique. How can you be sure you’re set up for success?

3 questions to ask about hybrid cloud strategy

Here are some questions to consider and discuss with your teams regarding your cloud strategy:

  • Do we have the flexibility and portability we need to be successful if the world changes again?

Ask your teams. Get groups of employees from different divisions and countries with varying levels of experience (sometimes your interns see things others don’t) and ask for input. Try to find people who will challenge your beliefs and be open to their thoughts.

  • Are my teams being as creative as they can be, or is innovation limited because of technology constraints?

Again, ask your teams. Don’t ask your managers to do this for you – gather data directly from the source so you can be sure it’s not “sanitized.”

  • Are our long-term customers truly satisfied – or is their loyalty based on fear of change, lack of time, or some other factor? If this is the case, how can hybrid cloud help us change it?

Many business leaders look at NPS scores, and these can be helpful. Keep in mind, however, that these do not show you the whole picture – for example, they won’t offer insight into whether customers are loyal because they are satisfied with your company’s service or if they simply haven’t taken the time to make a change.

[Want insights on talent and innovation from former financial services IT leaders? Get the ebook: Meet the Bankers.]

Emily Curley
Emily Curley is the director of financial services programs at Red Hat. Emily has spent over 10 years helping launch cloud technologies, building the Red Hat Developer program, and growing the financial services vertical. Emily is known for creating innovative programs, pushing the status quo, and piloting new ideas to benefit customers and stakeholders.