Modernization is essential — and easier than many payments companies may think — thanks to the cloud.
Technology’s growing role in the payments space is shaking up infrastructure. Despite the high price tag associated with a system overhaul, businesses must commit to a modernization strategy if they want to keep up with their competitors and continue to scale.
The current payments landscape requires substantial processing power, which can only be provided via modern infrastructure. Consumers want to access all their payment services online and on-demand without compromising quality or experience. This volume of digital interactions requires significant operational bandwidth and creates endless amounts of data. This can reap valuable business insights, but only if the organization knows how to use them.
Most organizations simply aren’t equipped to handle this — they need a comprehensive digital transformation strategy. As a result, many companies are investing in this area; IDG found that 91% of organizations have adopted a digital-first business strategy. Yet according to Forrester, only 21% of companies believe that their digital transformation is complete. These initiatives are ongoing projects that require the right resources to succeed — and they are critical.
Knowing there’s a need for new technology is one thing; selecting the right providers and partners is another. The first step is identifying what is needed from the new infrastructure. It’s not just today’s demands that must be considered; what will be needed in the future should be considered as well.
While the last few years may have taught us it’s impossible to predict the future, organizations should still aim to invest in infrastructure and software solutions that are flexible. By prioritizing an infrastructure that is designed to accommodate the unexpected, companies can set themselves up for success, despite new challenges that emerge.
Agility is important for the same reason. New technology is constantly emerging. Consumer preferences change. The ability to react quickly and implement new services could be the differentiator between winning the customer or losing them — and therefore between success and failure.
The sheer scope of these technology investments is not to be underestimated, both in terms of money and effort. This means that the right technology must be able to adapt and grow alongside the company, to ensure long-term relevance. Scalability is a core characteristic of any successful software solution, both in terms of long-term company expansion and also for micro-fluctuations in activity, such as major sales or holiday spikes.
Once companies have an understanding of what they need from their new technical infrastructure, they can start assessing providers. Many of the problems associated with legacy systems are tied to their reliance on physical servers, which is part of the reason cloud networks have emerged as the clear way forward for many payments companies.
The appeal of the cloud is multifold. Unlike setting up a server network, cloud networks can be deployed quickly and at scale. Although there have been concerns about the level of security available in a public network, in practice these concerns are unfounded. Users may benefit from the greater level of security investment that a large provider can offer.
With no certainty of what the future holds, payment companies should consider leveraging cloud network versatility. Flexibility in a payments platform means being able to support new features as needed, introduce new integrations, and pivot from one program to another, depending on customer demand. Cloud networks make it easy to introduce new applications through APIs, without draining bandwidth or operational power. The open-ended capacity of the network also means that payment companies don’t have to choose one service over another—they really can have it all.
Today’s payments landscape is moving so quickly that companies have to act quickly to keep up. A strong long-term strategy is of no use if it can’t be put into action in time. This is where agility is key — and where the cloud can help. A cloud network stores all data in one ecosystem, making it much easier to run analytics and identify trends, patterns and opportunities. Through comprehensive insight into business operations, payments companies can catch changes in consumer behavior early and be proactive in the market.
Scaling operations is more complicated than it sounds because it involves both improving bandwidths to manage a higher volume of activity while also minimizing risk. Fortunately, the cloud is designed to expand or contract along with the business. The endless capacity means that companies can opt into just the amount of service they need, with the option to upgrade or downgrade on demand. This ease makes scaling less of a headache and more of an opportunity.
It’s crunch time for payments companies. Digitization is a requirement and only those with a thoughtful strategy — and the tools to realize it — will succeed. Fortunately, with the right cloud network in place, organizations can ensure they have the flexibility, agility, and scalability to not just keep up but thrive in the current market.
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