Integration of digital technology is heralding changes in workplace cultures and structures that require innovation to succeed. The pace of change compels companies to be more flexible, mobile, innovative and deconstructed.
Change was accelerated by the global pandemic and challenges of managing mission-critical operations with a largely remote workforce and companies are shifting towards a new world order of permanently changed working patterns.
“The new environment has called for innovations in approach and new technologies to address changing economic conditions and workplace demands,” said Rob Coole, vice president of strategic Innovations at IPC Systems.
“Organisations increasingly recognise the potential value and opportunity presented by cloud technologies with respect to ‘connectivity’ (internal and clients), data storage and distribution and enhanced communications that enhance business performance and client engagement and support more nimble go-to-market product and business strategies. Cloud storage facilities are relatively cheap to use, infinitely scalable and easy to access. Data stored ‘in the cloud’ can be accessed on demand to support business analysis, risk management and other reporting obligations.”
Financial markets have long recognised the value of cloud services to collect and manage huge volumes of data in an efficient way, and to handle the heavy processing demands of algorithmic and automated trading strategies. The majority of firms following an innovation approach are likely to implement a combination of private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions to satisfy particular operational and distribution models and to manage multiple interrelationships in the trade and transaction supply chain
Accessed via the Internet and shared with multiple users, public clouds are the most widely known and used offering flexibility and almost infinite scalability that lends itself particularly well to software development and deployment.
Public clouds are accessed typically with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) consumption models linked to different service-level agreements. Some users have already learned the hard way that PAYG models can become very expensive in large-scale deployment (which for larger businesses, may be the impetus to shift to private – or shared private – clouds.
Public clouds may also be unsuitable in some applications, for example, those with very rigorous performance criteria around end-to-end latency (e.g. financial markets trading). Another potential ‘sensitivity’ relates to data sovereignty in circumstances that require data to be held in a specific location; public cloud services tend to abstract the ‘locality’ aspect which could compromise business and compliance obligations. Rather than take that risk, and in order to have more control over its physical location, enterprises may elect to localise high risk datasets in a private cloud.
A private cloud is used typically by a single business entity; computing resources are managed within a secure private network (often managed within third-party data centres). Whilst also flexible and scalable, the key difference between public and private clouds is that sudden surges of activity will not impact a firm’s proprietary security levels and performance protocols.
Banks, financial institutions, and other regulated entities beholden to rigorous security, confidentiality, data protection, and performance obligations can benefit from the high reliability, security, and customisability of private clouds.
“Cloud adoption is the foundation of digital innovation and will be the catalyst for many businesses to completely rethink the way that they access and manage high-cost, high-maintenance operational resources, data storage and distribution and client connectivity and engagement,” said Coole.
“In reality, however, no single cloud service or solution meets all business needs. Lower-cost public clouds support non-sensitive workflows (e.g., data storage), private cloud solutions handle mission-critical operations and activities (e.g., trading). For financial markets participants particularly, hybrid cloud solutions offer the best of all worlds in terms of satisfying myriad and ever-changing performance, security, risk and regulatory compliance obligations.”