What is the cloud? Answers in an email


What defines a cloud and what does it all mean for securities finance and collateral? David Selwood of FIS Global takes a look

When it comes to the ‘cloud’, I am often asked some very similar questions about it by the people in our organisation—especially on the commercial side—and sometimes by our customers: can ‘x’ software work in ‘y’ provider’s cloud? And does FIS have
a cloud?

And I almost always respond with a question of my own: what is the provider’s or the client’s definition of ‘cloud’?

You see, when I think of the ‘cloud’, I look at my phone or iPad and think about Spotify and how fantastic my playlist is, or BBC iPlayer, or Netflix. So, for a while now, many of my thoughts have been focused on defining this for our business solutions—and what it means for securities finance and collateral.

I believe that definition is key. In the past, this has been focused on the latest and greatest solution or innovation, be that a new database platform, software framework or delivery model. Even with the amorphous entity that is the internet, everyone was clear about the need to be on it and had an idea of what it meant from a commercial perspective.

Putting this into context with cloud solutions: can we define it as software-as-a-service or an application service provider? Does it have to do with legacy logins through sophisticated front ends? Is it all about app-delivered solutions?

A cloud solution can be a variation of some or all of these. Understanding its subtlety and definition is key as there is no single solution here. When I look at the software within the business, I see variations on a theme—and asking what the future holds is as important as delivering service now.

Future state

In my opinion, there is such closeness between technology and product that not understanding the technology roadmap will put you at a disadvantage when discussing the product roadmap. There is a distinct correlation to the underlying technology structure through product that can be far removed from a user saying, “I want this new field here on this screen.”

For example:

  • How will the screen be delivered within the user interface or user experience?

  • Do we do it in the legacy product and the ‘new’ cloud model?

  • What is the cloud model?

  • Do we just create it in the new version or can we migrate the legacy application into this?

  • What is the timeframe required for this field, versus our roadmap for new forms of platform delivery?


Now, I know these questions might not keep you up at night, but from a financial technology perspective, when working with products older than ‘brand new’, these questions are bound to come up repeatedly. Therefore, a clear roadmap model for transitioning into a cloud model is important to have and to understand.

It is safe to say that the cloud and whatever that means to you, is definitely here to stay. And it is at the forefront of the next generation of delivery.

We in fintech need to create our own model to work within. There is no right or wrong, but there is a very easy way to make it a mess. To avoid this, a focus on clarity, definition and strategic delivery planning for your old and new clients is key.
Features
The latest features from Securities Lending Times
The next implementation phase of the BCBS-IOSCO margin rules is on the horizon, and the buy side could use it as a springboard for long-term gain
Between the LGPS pooling project, Brexit and changes in technology, fund managers in the UK, and their service providers, have a lot to think about
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Broadridge has finished its latest blockchain pilot, focused on bilateral repo. Horacio Barakat discusses the progress made, and where the firm will go next
Forthcoming collateral rules will require the buy-side to find trillions of dollars in additional margin, and securities financing is at the heart of many of the solutions being explored, writes BNY Mellon’s Peter Madigan
Euroclear’s Olivier Grimonpont reviews how new margin rules are forcing collateral managers to adapt, and how collaborative solutions are the answer
The securities lending industry has some much needed respite from new regulations, and the mood at this year’s RMA Conference was upbeat
Collateral managers must embrace innovation and strive for greater efficiency in processing. Jenna Lomax reports from Amsterdam
Anand Krishnan of Natixis Americas explains how regulatory pressures are changing the rules of the game and buy-side entities are changing with it
Country profiles
The latest country profiles from Securities Lending Times
Francisco Thiermann of IBM says the imminent launch of Chile’s securities lending blockchain solution will provide a shot in the arm for the market
Zubair Nizami, head of Asian securities lending trading at Brown Brothers Harriman talks to Drew Nicol about the state of the industry in the region
Asset Servicing Times

Visit our sister site
for all the latest asset servicing news and analysis

assetservicingtimes.com
Being an exciting emerging market is all well and good, but how long can that status really apply before interest wanes? India is doing its best not to find out
Hugh Leonard, director of repo sales at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, explains how the Australian market has excelled in recent years
Securities lending is in a strong place in Australia. Dane Fannin, head of capital markets in the Asia Pacific at Northern Trust, explains the available opportunities
Federico Ortega Gilly of Mexico’s Nacional Financiera explains why his country’s securities lending market is ripe for foreign investment
Russia’s National Settlement Depository has had a busy year making its securities finance market more robust and attractive to outside investors. The CSD’s Alina Akchurina explains the innovations being implemented
South Africa’s securities lending industry is on the verge of embracing a modern T+3 settlement cycle that could boost the country’s market
Interviews
The latest interviews from Securities Lending Times