Financial institutions (FIs) worldwide are increasingly leveraging cloud technology for financial data, even though challenged by data privacy and regulatory issues.

These findings are from a survey by wealth technology provider Refinitiv.

The study, which polled 300 global FIs, found the firms allocating 48% of their IT budget on public cloud services in 2020. The figure was 34% in 2018 and 41% in 2019.

Of those polled, 76% said that their previous public cloud projects fared better than expected in facilitating immediate cost cuts. Notably, no projects were found to be worse than expected.

Hedge funds were the most benefitted in this regard, with 91% of their public cloud projects found to fare better than expected.

The respondents were mostly positive about the technology’s impact over the next 5 -10 years, with 40% believing it to be significant and 24% believing it to be transformational.

Thirty-six percent of the respondents believed the technology’s prospects to be minor over the aforesaid time period.

However, none of the respondents were completely bearish about the technology’s transformational prospects.

The study found the implementation of cloud challenged by various factors. Of those polled, 94% opined that regulatory concerns created an impediment in their use of the technology.

Also, 51% of the respondents said that managing data and privacy controls across different datasets in various locations posed a challenge.

Refinitiv global head of enterprise front-office propositions Marion Leslie said: “Blockers are falling away as the technology evolves and the transformational impact of big data, analytics and artificial intelligence enabled by cloud becomes real and generates increased interest.”

“Challenges remain in using the technology and our research found that the journey to the cloud is taking the industry longer than expected. Using the technology effectively requires new ways of working and new commercial models in order to harness cloud economics effectively.”