Insight Bite: Finance Cloud Market Stirs as IBM Buys Spanugo

Compliance is one of the biggest roadblocks to cloud migration, but even the highly-regulated financial sector is now making the transition.

To support the migration of finance to the cloud, IBM is acquiring Spanugo – a cloud security compliance firm that secures sensitive data against attacks and instantly demonstrates compliance for auditing purposes.

While the deal is small with Spanugo having around 20 employees, it represents the first acquisition since 2018 for IBM, and a “major step in advancing IBM’s differentiated capabilities in security and compliance”, according to head of cloud Howard Boville.

Spanugo’s tech will be integrated into the “world’s first financial services-ready public cloud.” This promises to convince the traditionally cautious financial services industry to migrate sensitive operations to the cloud, and is expected to launch in the latter half of 2020. Big names including the Bank of America and Banco Sabadell are collaborating on the development and set to be first to adopt the technology.

“Bringing Spanugo’s technology into our financial services public cloud will help provide our clients with evidence of their ongoing compliance, in real time,” said Boville in a statement.

Until now, the need to protect sensitive data and meet extensive compliance requirements has hindered cloud adoption in finance. But now that cloud computing has reached maturity, the situation is changing.

Growth forecasts vary, but pre-covid 19 estimates suggest that finance cloud could push ahead of the broader cloud market and quadruple to a value of $80 billion by 2025. With the surge in digital transformation catalysed by coronavirus, growth rates could now be even higher – putting a premium on firms like Spanugo that can meet the growing demand for addressing the regulatory, compliance and cybersecurity risks associated with cloud computing.

Reflecting this, 2020 has already seen several acquisitions in this vein. Cloud information archiving firm Smarsh bought financial cybersecurity specialist Entreda in May, and earlier this month, financial crime fighting firm NICE Actimize agreed to buy Guardian Analytics to move deeper into cloud-based financial risk management.

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