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:
  1. Embracing Public Cloud for Business Operations
  2. Security and Compliance
  3. Hybrid Cloud
  4. Application Hosting
  5. AI and Machine Learning in Public Cloud
  6. 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.

Hybrid Cloud

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.

Application Hosting

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.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY

AWS now in the UK

Hentsu deploying to AWS UK London cloudToday, Amazon announced the launch of AWS data centres in London. In addition to the existing Dublin and Frankfurt locations, AWS now has a third European region choice, and one which is especially useful to UK customers. As usual for AWS regions, this UK location comes with multiple levels of resiliency and comprises of two data centres.

Benefits

But what does this mean for asset managers using AWS technology and Hentsū customers in the UK?
  • Lower latency to your UK offices and data centres
  • Lower latency to other financial institutions, exchanges, and market data providers
  • If there are any specific requirements around UK jurisdiction, this is now easily mandated as part of the deployment
  • Connectivity is now available as a cross connect from multiple points of presence in London
Hentsū is now deploying to AWS London. For existing customers we can redeploy your existing environments to the UK region, with the minimum downtime.

More Information

The AWS Europe (London) Region offers two Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. AWS also provides multiple Amazon CloudFront edge locations in the UK for customers looking to deliver websites, applications, and content to UK end users with low latency. These locations are part of AWS’s existing network of 68 edge sites across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.   Contact us for more information on how you can take advantage of the new UK London AWS region.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
It appears that just about any technology you use in your personal life touts some aspect of “cloud”. From Google Drive and DropBox to iCloud and OneDrive, companies are allowing users to wizard away their data to these services that magically don’t exist within their personal devices. One may assume that cloud services are simply storage solutions where you can move things into the safekeeping of a company. But of course, this is just the tip of the cloud iceberg. At Hentsu the cloud is our business so we’ve written a few tips to help clear up some of the confusion regarding what else a “cloud” service can be.  
  1. Grid Computing: Fancy speeding up number crunching and relieving your poor hardware from stressful workloads? Then move your work off to a grid computing service! These clusters of computers share a workload between themselves, freeing up your machine’s capacity. Services such as Google’s BigQuery and DataLab allow for large sets of data to be processed and analysed with all the power Google can muster, in a cost-effective manner. Provisioning compute clusters in the cloud has far less set up time and upfront costs compared to their in-office counterparts.
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS). Need some software now? You may not need to download it! Some companies offer fully functional software from within browsers or via remote connection. Office365 and similar services allow users to create Office documents from their web browser or phone without downloading anything to their machines. These documents are even backed up online and easily sharable with URL links, allowing multiple people to edit the same document at once. SaaS isn’t limited to documents, anything from monitoring tools to communication can be provided as a cloud based service.  Better still, the software provider will take care of all maintenance and updates.
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Companies and individuals don’t always have the right hardware they need to operate as desired. Hardware also represents a big upfront expense and a maintenance burden. How about you let someone else take care of all that? Whereas SaaS allows you to make use of software not on your machine, IaaS lets you make use of infrastructure you don’t physically have. Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft have created professional grade virtual networking environments where you can deploy virtual machines and large data stores without the overhead of maintaining a datacentre.
  So yes, the cloud can be where you store and share your photos, but it can be so much more. Here at Hentsu we specialise in cloud technologies and have a wealth of experience helping organisations move their operations from traditional platforms to the cloud. If you think your business may benefit from any aspect of the cloud then feel free to get in touch, we can ensure you end up with the services right for you.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY

Hentsū to Discuss Hedge Fund Cloud Services

London – 2 June 2016 – Hedge fund cloud service provider Hentsū will be speaking alongside senior executives from AWS, Thomson Reuters, Piquant Technologies and Ion Asset Architecture at a panel debate hosted by HFM on the 22nd of June in London. With participation from both technology service providers and consumers of those services, there promises to be a well-balanced discussion around service innovation, systems performance, information security and broader business benefits. The debate will cover all types of hedge fund technologies, but with a focus on core real-time market data, execution and trading systems. There are both benefits and challenges of running asset management services over a public cloud infrastructure. With the experiences on the panel, both sides of the debate should be well represented, and without the myths and perceptions.

Panelists

The speaker line-up includes:
  • Marko Djukic, founder & managing director, Hentsū
  • Mike Powell, managing director, enterprise, Thomson Reuters
  • David Elliot, solutions architecture manager, financial services, Amazon Web Services
  • Iain Buchanan, CTO and COO, Piquant Technologies
  • Dennis Lohfert, director, Ion Asset Architecture
Places are limited so click here for more information and to register.

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY

Hey you; get off of my (public) cloud

It appears the UK regulator might want to rewrite those famous Stones lyrics. It has truly been refreshing to see the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) adopt such a progressive attitude towards cloud services. Regulatory guidance or consultations typically precipitate a collective sigh from the market. But the FCA’s guidance consultation 15/6 issued last November was instead met with universal approval. Many even claimed it would pave the way for financial services companies to take advantage of cloud computing services. Cloud architectures and delivery models have naturally long been championed by IT professionals. But, with the FCA clarifying that it doesn’t object to the use of a public cloud per se, the floodgates truly have been opened. Of course the guidance comes with a caveat. The regulator insists firms must continue to comply with regulations such as Systems and Controls (SYSC). But, caveats aside, this is pretty progressive. It is also helpful in cementing the regulator’s position as a supporter of innovation. Our industry has often been hamstrung by decades of technical debt and a desire to maintain the status quo. Surely having a regulator take an active stance in promoting and fostering innovation is to be applauded? This follows in the older news of other financial regulators embracing, publicly approving or even themselves using the public cloud, for example Singapore and FINRA. The European Union Agency For Network And Information Security (ENISA) had a good summary in their recent report, covering also the Dutch and Swiss regulators.

FCA Cloud Guidance - the Risks and Considerations

That said, adopting cloud services is not without risk. It is therefore absolutely right that the published guidance documents a detailed list of factors firms should take into account before doing so. It is imperative that any solution is implemented correctly. The guidance offers a comprehensive, but by no means a prescriptive list of all those factors that need to be considered. These include: legal and regulatory, risk management, international standards, provider oversight, access to data and business premises, outsourcing supply chains, change management processes, business continuity and resolution plans, and finally vendor risk. Encouragingly the FCA offers constructive guidance within each of those categories. For example, given that some cloud service providers keep the location of their data centres a guarded secret (for security reasons), the FCA acknowledges that “service providers may, for legitimate security reasons, limit access to some sites – such as data centres.” Even so, not having physical access to a data centre, does not prohibit firms from complying with audit obligations to provide access to certain data sets. We believe the FCA is showing both a pragmatic and progressive approach towards cloud adoption and is in our opinion a new chapter for financial technology. And it is already materialising on the ground with a wave of recent or imminent announcements of big adoptions of public cloud computing from some established names across the spectrum of financial services.    

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY