Jinfo BlogBanking on the cloud

Sunday, 15th January 2012 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Dale Moore

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Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) is moving its business operations to the cloud. The company announced the news as a press release on its website on 11 January and the story soon appeared on other major news and blogging sites including the BBC, PCWorld Business Center and ZDNet to name a few. In fact, a search for “spanish bank” and “google apps” produced just over 17,000 results in the past week and 91 in the last 24 hours. It’s a big story.

BBVA, one of the largest banks in the world, is migrating 110,000 employees to Google Apps by the end of 2012. It will be trialled by 35,000 staff in Spain before being rolled out to the rest of the organisation’s employees. The company operates in 30 countries with many staff (in addition to working from an office) working from home and on the move. 

The bank will use Google Apps for Business (Gmail with Google Chat, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Groups, Google Sites and Google Video) to “… increase productivity and drive innovation.” However, BBVA's director of innovation, Carmen Herranz, stressed that "… all customer data and other key banking systems would stay in our own data centres and be completely separate from the cloud solution”.

This is clearly a major scoop for Google. Sebastián Marotte, Vice President of Google Enterprises, comments in the press release: “It means a lot to us that BBVA, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, has decided to migrate to Google Apps. It shows that cloud computing is now a reality and leading organisations are already realising its potential to transform their business.” 

On the Official Google Enterprise Blog, José Olalla, CIO at BBVA, writes: “We were looking for a technology that would transform our business operations – not just make our workers more efficient. Integrating the Google Apps for Business suite with our own tools will allow us to introduce a new way of working where employees have access to all the information they need with just one click, no matter where they are or what kind of device they use, and can reap the benefits of using advanced collaboration tools.” 

The move is very newsworthy as cloud computing is still a hot topic for many and vendors are hoping for adoption by some big organisations. Another contributory factor is that the company is a financial institution; these were considered to be among the last types of organisation to adopt cloud computing.  

But how secure is all of this really and will others follow? It will be interesting to see the reaction from other financial organisations.

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