Along with business agility, innovation opportunities, modernisation and better security, greater resiliency is one of the main drivers for cloud adoption and digital transformation in capital markets.
Cloud technology equips organisations with the ability to resist and smoothly recover from failures, minimising downtime and data loss, due to the following strengths:
Cloud Service Providers invest in the facilities and security of their data centres in a way that proprietary companies cannot. In a competitive landscape service providers leverage different capabilities and contingencies for firms to avail of. This enables businesses to find their own edge, confident that the supporting cloud proposition is well-established.
Rather than having to carry out their own patching, maintenance, renewals and scaling, capital markets firms can count own their cloud provider to deliver fully functioning and resilient technology services whether infrastructural, software, platform or functional. This happens automatically, leaving the business to focus on its core activities.
Security, back-ups, compliance auditing, logging and monitoring activities are all catered for in the cloud, using the service providers’ best practice approaches and applications. Again, as cloud and resilience are synonymous, these are tasks which financial organisations outsource, freeing up their own IT resources to enhance their profitability.
Geographical redundancy is an important feature of resilient technology, and a central feature of cloud provision. Virtual machines and networks enable borderless resource utilisation, so platforms can seamlessly failover to alternative infrastructure. For capital markets operating across multiple financial hubs the flexibility achieved in the cloud for global trade also enables a high degree of resilience across zones and regions.
The direct availability of cloud environments and the ease with which they can be spun up enables a high degree of on-demand provision which benefits firms in terms of business expansion, testing new markets, adding capacity, and improving resilience. Paying only for usage through cloud subscription models also lends to the agility and affordability of cloud technology for capital markets.
The open-source protocol of cloud environments enables greater cross-platform transparency, migration and reporting. The quicker functionality can be spun up on alternative cloud provision the more resilient the business can be. For example, financial technologists are making greater use of containerisation and OS-independent micro-services based in open-source tools such as Kubernetes. This trend enhances resilience at a functional level, and firms can rely on their Cloud Service Provider to support these approaches to business continuity and competitive trading.
There are multiple objectives, components and tasks involved in building resilient systems and platforms in the cloud, including Governance, Architecture, Operations and Security.
Everything from defining roles and responsibilities; documenting recovery approaches and redundancy options; handling availability, back-up and retention routines; monitoring, alerting and auto-scaling; and data classification, codification and compliance needs to be considered.
Outsourcing these necessities to an experienced, specialist cloud provider enhances usability and resilience and enables firms to develop their business with confidence and agility.
There are specific conditions within capital markets which differentiate cloud provision in this arena from generic cloud offerings. For example, localisation laws may impact how failovers are handled, with limitations on using cross-border availability.
While complex aspects of regulation and legislation need to be navigated in order to give greatest peace of mind to firms and regulatory bodies, the resilience benefits of migrating to cloud outweigh the risks.
Policymakers and regulators must take care not to react in a knee-jerk fashion to the incompatibilities of public cloud with capital markets’ demands.
While it may appear that portability and multi-cloud solutions would be logical contingencies to increase resilience, legislating in favour of these may not be effective in the long-run due to the minimal interoperability between Cloud Service Providers.
What is important at this early stage of cloud adoption in the financial sector is not to stymie flexibility, innovation or business value generation. Instead businesses need specialist technical partners with dedicated experience in capital markets trading to guide the conversation with policymakers and regulators and ensure the benefits of cloud are not stifled.
As specialists in the technical infrastructure underpinning capital markets trading Beeks Group is highly experienced and knowledgeable about all the different permutations of private and public cloud capabilities, and how far these are suitable for the needs of financial institutions.
We offer secure, high-performance, guaranteed private cloud infrastructure all around the globe, and can accommodate exclusive, single-tenant security requirements, as well as replication of hosting.
Whilst Beeks recognises the cost-effective value of public cloud shared resources offering businesses cost-effective services, we also recommend a ‘horses for courses’ approach. This means ensuring that our customers align the importance of their workload with the relevant solution.
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