[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_row _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1" link_text_color="#000000" hover_enabled="0"]Cloud implementation, particularly in the Financial Services or hedge fund space, requires meticulous planning. This year has seen an increase in cloud usage worldwide. Companies are approaching Hentsu, not only to inquire about vital cloud adoption methods but also to discover more about the general state of the cloud space. For that purpose, we emphasize some of the most important numbers from the business and investment world, specifically touching on the growth and evolution of the cloud market, the usage of public cloud vs. private cloud, the utilization of public cloud providers, and so on.
Cloud Adoption Statistics and Cloud Growth in 2020
Business pressures are rising, but the cloud market is expanding, to say the least. Based on research conducted in 2020, business owners are eager to tap into the cloud. In many cases, company CEOs are completely aware of the advantages of cloud tech. Stats show that certain businesses are being cautious with cloud adoption, but quite a lot of others seek to embrace cloud trends. Incorporating rapidly evolving cloud technologies seems like a risk to some, while many still see the process as a leap in the right direction. Questions are also being raised regarding the impact of COVID-19, although ample statistics reveal the pandemic did not create any critical points within the cloud space. Quite the contrary, in fact. Businesses are looking for tools that help them spin-up resources fast and easy. They are also on the lookout for straightforward cloud deployment methods. To that end, the infographic you see below singles out interesting data related to the usage of public cloud tooling such as Terraform and Ansible. In addition, we focus on some of the reasons businesses are adopting cloud. Research carried out in 2020 goes beyond mere public cloud statistics and delves a bit deeper into enterprise IT budgets for public cloud spend, investment into public cloud across various fields including Manufacturing, Education, Government, Financial Services, and more. To discover more, DOWNLOAD or view our deep-dive infographic below:[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://3bb4f13skpx244ooia2hci0q-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-Public-Cloud-Statistics-01-scaled.jpg" url="https://hentsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-Public-Cloud-Statistics.pdf" url_new_window="on" _builder_version="4.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1"]
*Important note: A huge thanks to Gartner, CNBC, Statista, Forbes, and other reliable sources, as cited below.
Hentsū has identified an opportunity to enhance internal communications in a way that fosters quality of life and reduces e-mail chatter. In this case study, we will be covering Power Automate use cases, as well as MS Teams collaboration, workflow automation, and more. The use of automated flows delivered through Teams channels allows Professional Services, DevOps, Managed Services, and Client Relations to communicate in a fluid and natural setting. Relying on an email to be manually composed after a priority incident or anomaly has been detected, leaves a single point ofhuman failure open.
Hentsū has decided to automate our client’s service escalations and high priority incidents through Power Automate. Formally known as Microsoft Flow, this platform streamlines communications between third-party and Microsoft apps to enhance productivity and reduce manual overhead. Think of Power Automate as a cloud-basedalgorithmservice, that combines sets of flows to reduce manualor repetitive work that is often associated with reporting and communications between applications. This solution has also been curatedinternally forBitbucket repository notificationsrelated to merge or pull requests,as well as informative tech news updates.
AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, Citrix, Duo Security, Zabbix, and FortiGate
All sending vendor PSIRT advisories to Microsoft Teams channels which inform Hentsū of required/emergency security patches and events
Atlassian (Jira & Bitbucket)
Service escalations and change control request notifications
RSS technology news feed subscriptions
Centralized to a single Teams channel to encourage technical discussions and debates
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1"]Hentsū had reached a crossroads and identified that e-mail is not the most effective method to collaborate on service-related escalations and priority requests. Instead, we sought out to leverage the tools already available to us with our Microsoft 365 subscriptions to remove the human element from the detection of a variety of events. It was quickly evident that MS Teams with the help of Power Automate flows, has the capability to effectively tie the appropriate teams together and promote collaboration in an automated fashion. In short, workflow automation was achieved. We no longer had to rely on a single person(s) to detect a problem and manually loop individuals in through an e-mail chain. This can often be difficult to track. Alternatively, Power Automate would monitor our Jira Service requests and the bulk of our core technology vendors,’ based on the priority level.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="4.1"][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1" custom_padding="||20px||false|false"]
These alerts are visible in the dedicated Teams channel and using group membership, the correct individuals are always included. In addition to workflow automation, our goal was to achieve consistency, both in the fashion that the alerts are delivered and the syntax in which they appear.
After designing the initialHTTP request-based flows from our vendors’ PSIRT advisoryalerts and internal Jiraticketing system, we re-purposed the flows for other scenarios. Bitbucket repository updates, branch changes, commit/pull requests,and informational messages were integrated into Power Automateby modifying existingflow templates. This allowed our DevOps and Professional Services teams to collaborate and review one another’s code inan openchannel that is inclusive to all team members. Members of these channelscan modify their Teams chatnotifications to be as informativeas they would like.
To add some alure and showcase the innovative solutions, we connected RSS news feeds to an internal channel dedicated to Cloud Technology News. This providesa consistent platform that engineers could use to stay up to date with the most recent news in our sector. This concept is quite attractive forFinancial Services clients who are looking forcurated news presented in a central location, relating to their corresponding sector(s).
The beauty of theseautomated workflow solutionsare theirsustainability and re-usability. Usingtraditional e-mail has its benefits but does not have the consistency required by many developers and in-house technology teams.
During the planning phase, the most difficult challenge was deciding on the trigger that would actuate each flow. Though a simple HTTP request was used for most scenarios, each trigger required vigorous fine-tuning to ensure consistency across all platforms, especially for external vendors, due to the lack of insight into their internal systems. When using HTTP based webhooks, it is a challenge to figure out which applications expose their APIs. It is important to consider the limitations of Power Automate in relation to specific connections and the available actions associated with each.
For our internal based Atlassian applications (Jira & Bitbucket), research and probing were required to locate the exposed APIs used to set off the desired webhook events. Once located, the Webhook URLs were used as an initial trigger for each flow. Observing the specific responses and behavior from each app was necessary to curate the final communications via Teams and reduce un-necessary chatter or errors. Defining the variables and deciding on how to initialize each variable within the flow was necessary to deliver an informative notification which makes sense. Specific actions or behaviors are associated to each defined variable based on certain conditions. For example, when a variable matches “Priority 1,” the flow will then take action to inform the relevant Teams channel with a matching event title. The output formatting for an event is directly related to the variables within each flow. The output message syntax for each event went through multiple revisions before being considered acceptable.
One of the most important aspects of the project was to utilize malleable templates, which allow for exporting and re-use in similar scenarios. We designed the flows so that only select triggers and variables would need to be altered during future re-purposing efforts. The sustainability of a solution and its potential to be recycled, is one of the main requirements for the approval of a project within Hentsū.
The choice to automate over a fixed platform comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Workflow automation is accomplished with this particular solution. Overall, the automated flows that Hentsū adopted have enhanced team collaboration and increased communication between our global departments. Reducing human error and relying on manual alerting processes is no longer a concern for most of our core systems. The ability to templatize the flows for re-use has added huge benefits and ensured sustainability of the solution. We are looking forward to the enhancement and up-cycling of these solutions for both internal and external use cases.
Weekly Cloud Trends – Back to the Future: Public Cloud, 5G and Edge
Cloud computing is being implemented as a vital steppingstone of contemporary business and IT services. With Microsoft, Amazon, and GCP leading the pack, other numerous companies are joining the cloud computing race, including Oracle, IBM, Google, Red Hat, VMware, and more. Cloud computing isn’t the only technology out there. Various new and growing technologies are also being applied to everyday business endeavors; these primarily include Machine Learning (ML), grid computing, and, as of late, edge computing. The market is already witnessing the practical utilization of edge computing through HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure). Discover more, cool tech news and cloud computing news in our latest Weekly Cloud Trends.
Verizon Collaborates with Microsoft to Offer Private 5G Mobile Edge Computing
Major US telecommunications company, Verizon, is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to speed-up the delivery of enterprise-grade 5G applications, towards reliable and low-latency connections. The concept is to combine Verizon’s on-site 5G Edge network with MS Azure to unlock additional computing power to end customers. As a result, businesses can create very low lag experiences. “We have built a network that provides real-world, 5G-enabled solutions TODAY,” said Rima Qureshi, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Verizon. “By bringing together Verizon’s 5G network and on-site 5G Edge platform with Microsoft’s expertise in cloud services, we will enable the development of the next-generation technologies everyone has been envisioning.” “By leveraging Verizon’s 5G network integrated with Microsoft’s cloud and edge capabilities, developers and businesses can benefit from fast, secure and reliable connections to deliver seamless digital experiences from massive industrial IoT workloads to precision medicine,” reveals Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president Azure for Operators at Microsoft. Read more at MS.
Cloud Computing Market, Global Forecast to 2025 - Cumulative Impact of COVID-19
This year, both the economy and the technology market have been hit heavily by the global pandemic (i.e. COVID-19). The brand new "Cloud Computing Market Research Report - Global Forecast to 2025 - Cumulative Impact of COVID-19" covers the usage of cloud computing in various industries, from banking and financial services to construction and real estate. In addition, the report examined cloud utilization in fields such as consumer goods and retail, education, energy and utilities, government and public sector, healthcare and life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, media and entertainment, telecommunication, and travel and hospitality. The analysis features data based on infrastructure, the cloud Computing Market studied across archiving, compute, disaster recovery and backup, and Primary storage. The data provided takes us through Platform As A Service (PaaS), Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS) numbers, and more. Continue reading at Yahoo Finance.
Public Cloud and Private Cloud in Financial Services Analysis
Here at Hentsū, we are going to be releasing a new infographic, teeming with fresh market data, to focus on the usage of public cloud in 2020. Additionally, don’t forget to check out our recent look at our latest blog piece, Trends in Financial Services. In the meantime, as 2020 draws to a close, another report has surfaced with detailed data regarding Global Private and Public Cloud in Financial Services Market. The report indicates analytical assessment of crucial trends, market growth opportunities, in the current Private and Public Cloud in Financial Services landscape. Some of the key manufacturers, cloud services providers that were analyzed:
Trends in Financial Services: Hedging on Public Cloud Adoption
The financial industry is going through a huge change in 2020. Financial services firms are in a unique position to modernize and improve business operations. How do you pinpoint the best and safest roads to prosperity, business continuity, and agility? This may seem like a tough nut to crack. That is where public cloud adoption enters center stage. Making the switch to new and unfamiliar tech is an understandable concern, given the critical factors such as rising cost pressures, managing complex business data and workloads, training existing IT staff, and so on. These concerns can be mitigated when turning towards expert IT services that hinge on public cloud power. There is a huge seismic shift working in favor of public cloud. Market stats show growing tendencies towards cloud adoption. According to a recent forecast by Gartner, in the current climate, by 2022 a cloud shift across key enterprise IT markets will surge to 28% (as opposed to 18% in 2018). Bigger financial market players are making the crucial leap to public cloud. BI reports that PayPal is looking to handle the bulk of its transactions via Google's public cloud. Goldman Sachs revealed its intentions to migrate their Marquee app to Amazon's cloud, in an effort to attract fintech developers. Meanwhile, JPMorgan is creating a cloud engineering hub in Seattle, which is minutes away from Amazon and Microsoft. As you can see the big players are already hopping on the bandwagon. Let us have a quick gander at some of the trends in financial services:
Embracing Public Cloud for Business Operations
Security and Compliance
AI and Machine Learning in Public Cloud
Cloud Solutions Using OPEX Model
Embracing Public Cloud for Business Operations
Banks, hedge funds, and diverse financial services firms are still having trouble planning the road ahead. Banks, for instance, see the cloud space as the perfect launching point towards digital transformation and business resilience. Initially, many firms have issues regarding security, although they soon realize the well-known truth - public cloud providers have tremendous spending power to maintain their cloud environments. The public cloud environment and infrastructure feature numerous advantages and that's why they are seen as one of the hottest trends in financial services. Feel free to check out the biggest 11 benefits of public cloud. Knowing these advantages could help you crystalize exactly what is best for improving and modernizing business operations.
Security and Compliance
Many companies have learned valuable lessons and are taking extra caution every step of the way. The priorities are to improve data management, increase computing power, and storage capacity. This is often a dynamic and ever-changing beast. The need for safety and security has risen dramatically. Adoption of public cloud advisory services and public cloud provider tech, easily mitigates any potential soft spots in security, minimizing chances of cyberattacks. For example, every application that is deployed is always monitored, thereby regularly checked by expert in-house IT teams or your trusted outsourced IT partner. As a result, data is controlled within the safety of the public cloud. Such a controlled environment allows for increased customization to ensure smooth cloud deployments. Also, given the variety of compliance and regulations standards within the financial services industry, companies are meticulously focusing on Service Level Agreement (SLA). Reviewing if the services provider can align those properly with company business needs. Encrypting Data is equally important. Encrypting sensitive data is crucial when meeting compliance standards.
In addition, numerous companies are exploring other options to increase flexibility. They are looking to adapt their IT infrastructures to combine cloud services utilizing hybrid cloud. This represents a mix of all the benefits of public cloud, in addition to private cloud (or on-prem) services that might suit certain businesses. Because of this, Microsoft and Amazon are now hitting the market with their own hybrid solutions. These may solve the problem for companies that are looking to reap the massive benefits of public cloud but are afraid of certain disadvantages of on-prem.
In the financial world, timing is everything. When financial firms need to know that their applications can run smoothly and effectively to meet everyday goals. However, when the public cloud is concerned, moving your legacy applications to the public cloud can be quite a challenge. Public cloud environments are often complex, so it is a good move to turn to a public cloud MSP with lots of experience in the financial industry.
AI and Machine Learning in Public Cloud
Machine Learning (ML) algorithms are popularly used in the tech industry and are increasingly becoming valuable for large-scale processes. Machine learning is a complex process, but it has a very simple and practical purpose – to learn, adapt, and get better. It is software or tech that is constantly self-improving. In a nutshell, ML automates intelligent decision making. Machine learning can be used for factor selection (Quantitative Finance). ML also applies other practical uses such as tracking transactions, zeroing in on suspicious accounts and activities within the cloud, and therefore improving security and more. Modern-day public cloud providers have an amazing variety of powerful AI-based tooling to improve enhance security and improve trading strategies. Banks, for example, are progressively utilizing AI and ML to process automation for trade finance, smart contracts, foreign payments, and so on.
Cloud Solutions Using OPEX Model
In the business world, OPEX is an abbreviation used to describe “operating costs” or “operational expenditure,” or more precisely expenses that come with running an everyday business. This can include anything from services to customer/client care, or any consumable resources that are paid for regularly. In short, it is the pay-as-you-go model. CAPEX, on the other hand, denotes long-standing investments and long-term commitments for equipment, resources, capacity, and so on. The trend in financial services is increasingly using managed public cloud services, and therefore switching to OPEX. The result is: driving innovation and delivering a better customer experience. Why is that? The simple answer is OPEX is a more cost-effective and more flexible operating model. Running and maintaining the cloud is left to cloud experts. In that scenario, the financial services firm’s existing staff focuses on the regular duties necessary to run the business smoothly. Financial forecasts are kept stable and predictable while hiring new staff or additional training of regular staff is no longer necessary.
Weekly Cloud Trends – Is Machine Learning Getting Cheaper?
Each passing week, we discover more about cloud computing. This particular sphere of modern-day technology constantly brings innovation and different solutions to help solve numerous business challenges. The reason for that is that the cloud space relies on tech that’s flexible and adaptable and is therefore always able to evolve. The latest Weekly Cloud Trends are showing once more how chief public cloud providers are adapting to the current demands of the market. Both AWS and MS are bringing new tools and upgraded solutions to the table.
Amazon Cuts the Cost of AWS SageMaker Instances by Up To 18%
It appears that Amazon has already taken the step towards lowering the price of its AI-based service, SageMaker. Sure, it is not exactly earth-shattering news, but it does seem to be a pretty sure sign that machine learning tech is going to be easier to obtain. “In fact, we found out that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Amazon SageMaker over a three-year horizon is over 54% lower compared to other options, and developers can be up to 10 times more productive,” says AWS Technical Evangelist Julien Simon. He added: “This comes from the fact that Amazon SageMaker manages all the training and prediction infrastructure that ML typically requires, allowing teams to focus exclusively on studying and solving the ML problem at hand.” This is indeed an interesting move by Amazon. It’s safe to assume that we’re not far from an age when machine learning will be accepted as a commodity on the market. Imagine the opportunities that would create. Of course, we also must ponder what kind of impact this would have on the global economy, trading, and so on. Read the full story at SA.
MS Azure - Start with Cloud Adoption Framework Enterprise-scale Landing Zones
Here at Hentsū we have often discussed the importance of designing a roadmap when going through the cloud adoption process. It is great to see exactly how major companies are now growing and improving on that front. Azure, for instance, introduces new ways to enhance enterprise-scale architecture landing zones. Here’s a snippet from Microsoft’s official post:
Design guidelines: Guide to the critical decisions that drive the design of the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure enterprise-scale landing zone.
Architecture: Conceptual reference architecture that demonstrates design areas and best practices.
Implementations: Azure Resource Manager template of the architecture to accelerate adoption.
Microsoft Will Let Employees Work From Home Permanently: Report
The challenging times we live in have certainly put both employees and companies through unprecedented hardships. Industry giant Microsoft is reportedly going to allow employees to work from home permanently, and not just during the COVID-19 pandemic, but after it is over. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” reveals Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, in the note to employees. “We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture.” Such powerful trends set by industry-leading companies are no doubt going to be a big influence on global business trends. Discover more at The Verge.