There is a clear appetite for companies to accelerate their cloud migration strategies, with spending on public cloud services in Australia expected to be $18.7 million in 2022, according to Gartner’s latest forecast, representing a 31.8 per cent growth compared to 2021’s $14.2 billion.
The cloud can of course offer clear benefits to financial institutions. One of the most often cited is cost reduction, particularly through optimisation of infrastructure. Other benefits include the speed of deployment of cloud-based services, the improved user experience and convenience, the elasticity and scalability that cloud provides, the availability of DevOps environments, and the interoperability and open nature of cloud-based applications. So, it’s not surprising that firms are increasingly looking to capitalise on these benefits.
However, transitioning to the cloud isn’t easy, particularly in the complex financial markets environment. It’s important to secure executive sponsorship too, which is beneficial to the migration journey.
Firms shouldn’t underestimate the costs and complexity of migrating their technology stacks to the cloud, particularly when attempting to perform the migration themselves. Many firms have built up a complex mesh of infrastructure to support their analytics, pricing, trading, risk, settlement, and other operational functions. It’s highly unrealistic to expect to be able to just ‘lift and shift’ these functions to the cloud.
A critical early step in the cloud transformation journey, is for firms to clearly map out their appropriate cloud strategy. That means working out where to use public cloud, where to use private cloud, and which applications and data need to remain in-house or on-premises. High-performance trading and real-time market data technologies, for example, are unlikely candidates for the public cloud, whereas data analytics, regulatory reporting and end-user applications may be more appropriate for cloud-hosted platforms.
Implementing their strategy doesn’t have to be onerous, however. The process can be greatly streamlined by working with an infrastructure provider that’s already done the groundwork and offers an integrated solution for accessing all the required endpoints, through a single, secure network.
Connectivity is key. Secure and reliable connectivity to trading partners, counterparties, application service providers, and multi-cloud environments, giving firms the ability to rapidly deploy whatever they need, including cloud-based services, managed hosting, and connectivity to global market centres.
Adopting this approach enables forward-looking firms to benefit from the best of all worlds. Having a tailored cloud environment with unified, secure access to a combined infrastructure of on-premise, hosted, private cloud, public cloud, and cloud of clouds, all in a managed environment, allows firms to adopt the cloud strategy that is right for their business and their customers.
David Lavoie, senior technical solutions consultant, BT