33 Finance Monthly. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s However, as with any new wireless communications technology, the volume of data used will rise significantly, putting more stress on backbone networks. A fifth of financial service enterprises surveyed in the research already say that data volumes have become a serious problem. To succeed, organisations need the ability to quickly ingest and process data and this will be dependent on having a connected, secure, reliable, scalable, flexible, resilient and low latency IT infrastructure. Ultimately, more connections mean more risks. So, the challenge is how to take advantage of increased connectivity without compromising security or compliance. The role of colocation Many are turning to colocation as the answer; providing the extra capacity and bandwidth required, while also enabling fast, secure and direct connections to cloud service providers. According to the Telehouse research, financial services organisations are already outsourcing 38% of IT infrastructure in colocation with adoption set to increase further as the use of big data; 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) rises. By hosting their IT infrastructure in a colocation data centre, organisations can control the migration process, keep on top of regulatory demands and keep a lid on costs. The research found that the top drivers of investment in colocation are sustainability, faster data access and improved connectivity, likely driven by the need to improve customer experience and connect disparate hybrid IT structures. More importantly, by deploying a combination of cloud and colocation strategies, organisations can create a resilient and secure foundation for growth. This will enable them to flex and scale operations when building new services and innovations to meet future demand, while also ensuring they provide their customers with a responsive and high-performing service. And by choosing a colocation facility in close proximity to financial markets and exchanges, organisations can benefit from reduced latency and faster data processing to enable real-time big data analysis. Moving to the edge Despite lagging behind other sectors in most areas, financial services are leading the way when it comes to edge computing. 72% of respondents have already implemented a strategy for edge computing, driven by a need to optimise data volumes (36%), digitally transform (34%) and match competitor capabilities (34%). However, over a third say they are challenged by a lack of understanding of edge networks and their purpose as well as uncertainty over which locations to gather and manage data in. Given that it’s now more important than ever for financial services firms to store, access and analyse and access exponential levels of data at record speeds, it is not surprising that interest in edge computing is soaring. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud and edge delivery options, compared with 20% in 2020. Demand for edge is also likely to be driven by its convergence with other technologies such as cloud and colocation and is evidenced by the fact that many firms opt for a mix of technologies. Ultimately, the key for success for organisations will be building the right infrastructure foundations and connectivity, and the right data centre partner is critical to achieving this. Embracing the connected future Financial service providers have a huge opportunity to provide the seamless, secure and personalised services that today’s consumers crave. But doing so requires digital transformation. As data volumes and connectivity increase, new developments such as predictive modelling to prepare for ‘what if’ scenarios, automation of front-end sales and customerfacing environments and the enhancement of customer care by self-service functionality will become commonplace. However, success depends on having the right IT infrastructure to enable fast, secure and seamless connections. It will be those that can build a connected, secure, reliable, scalable, flexible, resilient and low latency IT infrastructure that will be winners in the race to the connected future.