How AWS WorkSpaces Can Benefit the Finance Industry

October 17,2020

The finance industry is one that some of our staff are coming from, so we definitely understand the challenges that working from home can bring to it. WorkSpaces can certainly help financial services maintain efficiency, continuity, and security while you and your clients stay safe at home.

In our last blog post, we addressed the wonders of AWS WorkSpaces for security purposes while working from home. To recap, WorkSpaces is a cloud-based desktop service that you can easily provision, deprovision, and set up for as many employees as you want, paying as you go. When an employee works on WorkSpaces, all your valuable data is stored on the cloud rather than on their laptop that could be vulnerable to theft or damage.  

While most industries stand to benefit from WorkSpaces, the financial sector is one that’s standing out to us. If you work in financial services, you know how sensitive your clients’ data is and how much they’re counting on you to protect that data. The knowledge that their social security numbers and bank account info could be inadvertently compromised by an unsecure home network or losing your laptop isn’t exactly reassuring. Switching to AWS Workspaces can help solidify their trust.

There’s also the new regulations you have to deal with from the financial regulatory authorities meant to keep your data safe and your organization stable. Their expectations can be tough to meet, and WorkSpaces can help you more easily satisfy their demands without sacrificing an arm and a leg.

It’s no surprise that many finance companies you might know are using AWS. Wonder why? Here are some ways financial firms are having an easier time working from home due to WorkSpaces:

Put less strain on your IT infrastructure and decrease latency.

Working from home has been putting a lot of strain on the technology resources of many financial institutions, even at some large banks you probably have an account with. This can lead to various issues, such as increased latency -- and finance is one of the last industries that can afford latency issues. 

Even a delay of just a few minutes can lead to the receipt of incorrect or outdated information, which can open up some wrong decisions. For high-frequency trading, decreasing latency by just a millisecond can increase revenue by millions! 

Using AWS will outsource server purchasing, maintenance, and management to a cloud vendor, taking some of the work off your IT team so they’ll have some more time to focus on more creative tasks. 

VPNs have been an efficient and traditional way of addressing security concerns, but they depend on on-premises environments. Unfortunately, they’re also vulnerable to their own problems, problems that are often time-consuming for your IT team. 

Enable multi-factor authentication.

To work from home, financial staff often need to access a variety of tools, which means a lot of accounts and logging in. Multi-factor authentication can help protect accounts from being compromised. This can ensure you’re actually communicating with your actual employees, giving you peace of mind that it’s not their shady new roommate pretending to impersonate them.

Better accommodate high-frequency trading and other high-bandwidth activities.

High-frequency trading generally requires advanced, high-powered, expensive hardware and software designed to process large quantities of data at high speeds and to work with complex algorithms. Since they rely on continuous real-time data, latency should be as low as possible to prevent losing out on any valuable information. 

The transition to a home setup has been a turbulent one for many traders. WorkSpaces won’t turn your Macbook Pro into the multiscreen system you were using in your office, but it can help securely and efficiently store apps your own hardware wouldn’t be able to do without causing a ton of latency issues. As mentioned earlier, higher latency can cause quite a few problems in trading. 

If you’re located in an area prone to natural disasters, this can really disrupt your infrastructure. WorkSpaces can help you ensure business continuity even when your internet fails for hours and you can’t access your building.

Support compliance requirements.

Tired of regulatory agencies telling you what to do? Following their extra WFH guidelines and requirements all the time can be tough, but they’re meant to protect the safety of your data and thus the trust of your clients. Many of these regulations want employees to only use company-provided and approved tools and monitor communications. 

A common cloud-based desktop can make this easier, so it’s no surprise that FINRA’s official website has stated that finance companies using cloud-based software are finding it easier to work from home. 

Compliance to all kinds of regulatory standards is important to WorkSpaces and AWS in general, so you don’t have to worry about the authorities shutting you down. 

Helps assuage the worries of your clients.

Some of us can still remember an older relative lecturing us on not giving out our credit card info on Amazon at the risk of utter financial destruction. Although most of us are past that in 2020, not everyone is comfortable giving sensitive information out digitally or over the phone. Since finances are a sensitive matter, it’s totally understandable if your clients inquire on whether their information is safe with you working remotely or not. So security and efficiency of AWS don’t just benefit your own everyday operations, but also helps assuage your clients and help them stick around. 

Just take up less physical space in the office.

If you’re among the 33% of larger financial firms that have expressed interest in reducing how much physical space you take up, WorkSpaces can help by reducing how much on-premises hardware you have to purchase.

Financial services will always be essential no matter what, so it’s extremely important you’re using fast and secure services. WorkSpaces will help you stay efficient through physically distanced times and long afterwards, easily accommodating any restructuring and global expansion you go through. 

If you’d like to learn more about how SM Innovations can help you get started and make the best with WorkSpaces, let us know. Our staff has had years of experience in the finance industry and are aware of how important efficient, secure business continuity is. We’ll set you up with an experienced Solutions Architect for a free consultation on how WorkSpaces can help you grow from afar.