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JPMorgan Invested $2B On The Cloud In 2021 — And Much Of That Went Toward Brick-And-Mortar

JPMorgan Chase spent $2B on new data centers last year. 

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon

The bank’s 10-figure investment in its own data centers is part of a broader $12B technology and data infrastructure initiative outlined by executives on an earnings call with analysts last week, the Foundations newsletter first reported.

While those at the helm of Wall Street’s largest lender say the future of the bank’s data processing and storage is in the cloud, short-term investments in brick-and-mortar data centers will continue to be necessary as the company prioritizes expanding its digital products and heading off a growing number of fintech and digitally native competitors.  

“If we can spend $2 billion more and get to the cloud tomorrow, I would do that in a second,” CEO Jaimie Dimon told analysts.  

According to Dimon, JPMorgan will throw even more money toward technology and digital transformation in 2022 — 8% more, to be exact — with the aim of transitioning as much as 50% of its apps and data to the cloud by the end of the year. But, he said, the company has no choice but to continue opening new data centers and improving its existing ones if it wants to maintain its pace of expansion. 

In particular, retail bank Chase’s expansion into the UK — along with its accompanying digital products — requires new data centers. Similarly, JPMorgan’s credit card data processing is still run out of a mainframe in a legacy data center and cannot be easily migrated to the cloud, even as doing so would save the company upward of $40M annually, Dimon said. 

His comments provide insight into how large financial institutions are thinking about managing a mix of IT infrastructure options — including data centers — as they face down challenges from an ever-growing array of fintech competitors ranging from mobile payments and digital-only banks to trading platforms like Robinhood.

Dimon suggested to analysts that the company is willing to sacrifice the value and cost-efficiency of the cloud in the months ahead if it means services or applications can be rolled out faster or with greater flexibility. 

Dimon also revealed that JPMorgan’s uses AWS as its primary cloud services provider, although the company plans on partnering with all three of the major hyperscale cloud vendors. 

“We're running a whole bunch of major programs… on AWS,” he said. “And we're working with Google and Microsoft … so we want to have multiple cloud capabilities.”