PKO and PFR to launch Polish National Cloud

Poland’s largest bank, PKO Bank Polski (PKO) and the Polish Development Fund (PFR) have announced a joint plan to build and develop a National Cloud (Chmura Krajowa).

“Our commitment to the Cloud of Poland project is the next stage of digital transformation, which is key to implementing the strategy of PKO,” said Zbigniew Jagiełło, president of PKO. “We support the development of Poland and Poles. The sooner and better we prepare local, safe and modern solutions in this area, the more we can benefit both at the level of individual entities and the national economy.”

According to Paweł Borys, president of PFR and former director for strategy and investment at PKO, “Digitalisation is one of the key trends of the current technological revolution, which is beginning to decide everything: from the competitiveness of the economy through the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, or city management to medical services. Basing digital services on modern and local infrastructure means greater security and lower costs for business and administration. In countries where cloud services are developed, a rapid increase in the technological advancement of the economy follows them.”

Mr Borys added: “I am convinced that this initiative, which we are starting today, and which can be launched for business and administration next year, can be a revolution. Services in the cloud are of course already available from large global players, but the data they collect are stored abroad. These services are also more expensive than if they were operated in Poland. The creation of a Polish cloud should not only be cheaper for Polish institutions, but also provide them with greater security.”

The new Polish cloud will provide comprehensive data storage and processing services in using a subscription model, offering IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) services.

IaaS are services providing access to IT infrastructure, in particular computing power and disk space. PaaS are services providing a complete IT platform necessary to run business applications, in particular databases (including blockchains), application servers, web servers and advanced analytical tools. SaaS is in turn the service of providing access to software installed in the cloud that performs certain business functions, such as an office package or a HR system.

Both PKO and PFR are adamant that a good cloud computing offer is of particular importance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), who often find it more challenging to achieve digital transformation due to the cost of building their own technological Infrastructure.

“The cloud will help them overcome these barriers. It is a great chance to accelerate the digital transformation of Polish SMEs, which can make them more competitive,” explains Mr Borys.

Representatives of PKO and PFR argue that this is a commercially attractive project, especially considering that in 2017, the value of this sector in Poland amounted to 1.6 billion zloty and has been growing at a rate of 30 per cent annually.

“We do not exclude that in the event of commercial success, the company could be listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange,” Mr Jagiełło added.

The new venture will beginning offering services in the first quarter of 2019.