Beeks Chief Executive Officer, Gordon McArthur joined Equinix and a panel of experts discussed the challenges and opportunities of utilising public, private and hybrid cloud to build out unique ‘as-a-Service’ offerings on a recent webinar hosted by The Realization Group.
The webinar looked at how the financial services industry is pivoting to embrace cloud solutions and explored where Financial Markets firms are currently in their adoption of cloud and ‘as-a-Service’ products, and how that journey is evolving.
“There’s still a long way to go, particularly for larger institutions, according to Gordon. “Cloud is still in its infancy in certain parts of capital markets. Some of the smaller firms have already embraced cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), but a lot of the bigger firms are still only starting the journey. But every big organisation in our space that has not already started this in earnest is looking at how they take those first steps. And the start of the journey is the most difficult bit because they have these big legacy footprints that are business mission-critical.”
Gordon also discussed some of the key considerations for the financial services industry when considering cloud solutions.
“A lot of the move towards cloud is driven by banks’ transformation programmes, but it’s also cost-driven, it’s regulatory-driven, and there’s a need for workload flexibility as well,” says Gordon McArthur. “With applications that are variable in their usage, things are easier, because with cloud, you get the flexibility that allows you to add and delete resources as you see fit for application loads that need to grow or reduce over time. The cloud gives you that elasticity.”
Speed of deployment is another factor, continues McArthur. “At some banks, it takes months to buy a server and to get it through procurement. That level of inflexibility when you need compute resources to go up and down is hugely problematic. So, the level of variability in the application set is one of the catalysts that makes it a no-brainer for a big institution.”
With ‘cloud’ being such a generic term, how do firms decide what flavour of cloud is the right solution? Although it’s common to equate cloud with public cloud, firms can have private, dedicated cloud services within, or provisioned by, a public cloud vendor or specialist third party cloud provider.
“The public cloud has a security model, but the banks also have their own security models that they can’t compromise on. That’s where the bigger banks go into the private cloud arena,” says Gordon McArthur. “At Beeks, we can build them a dedicated environment with all the benefits of the cloud, but we take their security model and input it without change, without compromise on that dedicated infrastructure, so they get the level of comfort they need. This hybrid cloud solution gives the best of both worlds, a low-latency compute environment with the rich connectivity that Equinix offers, but deployed with their own security model that meets all their requirements, so there is no compromise.
“18 months ago, we didn’t have a single connection to AWS, or Google, or Azure, but every environment we put out now has this hybrid multi-cloud connectivity piece,” continues McArthur. “People realise now that there’s no one-cloud-fits-all. The AWS’s and the Googles of this world won’t ever be there for the real low-latency trading environments that need the kind of infrastructure that sits within an Equinix ecosystem, but firms do need to exchange data between that trading environment and the public cloud, to archive data, to talk to other applications that are not latency-sensitive, and so on. That’s why the secure, private connectivity between clouds is becoming more and more important.”
Financial Markets Insights from The Realization Group, is a series of interviews with thought leaders in financial and capital markets. The purpose of the series is to provide exclusive insights into industry developments, through in-depth conversations with C-level executives and key experts from banks, exchanges, vendors and other firms within the financial markets ecosystem.
For more information, please visit www.ﬁnancialmarketsinsights.com