The Polish Bank Association, Microsoft, Google Poland, the National Cloud Operator, Accenture and Kochański & Partners have established a joint group to promote cloud computing solutions in the Polish banking sector, creating the PolishCloud Academy project, providing free training and workshops relating to cloud implementation for representatives of financial institutions.

Polish banks are world leaders in modern technological solutions, in terms of both internal and client service solutions. Cloud technology implementation is now one of the key challenges facing the financial sector, with the importance of modern technologies in the banking sector being particularly evident in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Embracing the latest technological solutions will allow Polish banks to not only increase their competitive edge, but also optimize numerous processes and reduce IT expenses, while ensuring heightened security of electronic systems.

“Cloud solutions offer new opportunities to banks. Technologies that until now were unavailable or whose implementation was time-consuming have become more user friendly and simply cheaper, thus making business initiatives technically easier to implement. The role of IT departments has also changed, becoming equivalent business partners not only responding to demand, but also creating new business ideas in the technological area,” concluded Adam Dzwonkowski, Microsoft, Head of the PolishCloud Academy

Cloud solutions bring numerous challenges and new opportunities to representatives of the banking sector. Ultimately, cloud technology implementation in banks will be of particular benefit to their clients.

“The Polish banking sector already stands out with its exceptional innovation and technological development. The announcement of investments in Poland by global cloud service providers is another step that will accelerate the digital transformation of the financial sector. The emergence of data processing centres in Poland and the use of advanced analytics and machine learning will allow banks to significantly improve their services provided to clients, as well as to optimize their operations,” says Łukasz Buczko, Google Poland.

The recent PolishCloud standard developed by the ZBP working group is an important step towards bringing banks closer to cloud solutions.

“This provides a comprehensive guide to procedures, necessary documentation and individual stages of transitioning banks to the cloud, and a practical analysis of existing legislation concerning cloud services for the financial sector. The process of developing and implementing new cloud solutions is not easy, since it affects not only the sphere of technology, but above all requires a change in the philosophy of the entire organization, including those not closely related to IT itself. Every organization must properly prepare for these changes and implement them in day-to-day operations, hence the concept for the Academy,” says Wojciech Pantkowski, Polish Bank Association.

The PolishCloud Academy partners believe that education is the way forward when implementing cloud solutions, giving the management boards of banks a chance to mark the beginning of a new financial sector approach to cloud solutions. The partners to this initiative have fused their expertise and experience in banking and new technologies with legal competence. On this basis, they intend to raise awareness of cloud solutions and improve the qualifications of representatives of financial institutions in this area.

“We want to raise awareness of the cloud computing technology and the benefits it brings to banks and their clients. We believe the cloud and its technological capabilities are the future of the Polish banking sector,” says Marcin Karczmarczyk, Managing Director, Polish National Cloud Operator.

Until now, the use of the cloud in the banking sector has been hampered primarily by security requirements, which are particularly important for entities subject to financial supervision, professional secrecy or those processing sensitive data.

“We are aware that cyber security is one of the key aspects of cloud implementation in financial institutions. Therefore, we will also educate banks in taking the necessary steps to ensure client and contractor data security and to meet regulatory requirements,” stresses Piotr Kochański, Managing Partner, Kochański & Partners.

The banking sector has great potential for cloud technology development, but requires proper preparatory steps to be taken. It is crucial for bank employees at all levels to improve their qualifications so that they understand the functioning of new platforms and can fully exploit their potential.

“According to our research, although Polish banks are at the very beginning of their transition to the cloud, they have already taken certain steps to introduce cloud solutions. The market sector is changing, banks need to introduce new technologies to offer their clients tailored products and thus increase their competitive edge. Flexibility and an efficient approach to creating new products, as well as development of economic ecosystems, in cooperation with non-banking entities capable of identifying new sources of income, are also important. Cloud solutions may facilitate all of this and is why we would like to support banks in their transition to the cloud, enabling a more seamless and safe transformation process. It should be noted that the first and major step is to build valuable market competencies. We believe our expertise and rich experience of our experts will prove to be helpful and will contribute to the success of many organizations,” says Karol Mazurek, Managing Director, Accenture.

Given that the organizations involved in the PolishCloud Academy initiative are leading figures in their sectors, and that the jointly developed training programme provides a comprehensive and also diversified – due to the competence of the recipients – well of information, the transition of Polish banks to the cloud is getting closer.

The PolishCloud Academy is a unique opportunity and CEE’s largest free educational programme relating to cloud solutions, addressed to representatives of the banking sector. The training will be conducted by outstanding experts and practitioners sharing their expertise to help employees at all levels and banking departments – from management boards to HR – develop their cloud computing competence.

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