Article - IT

How Capital Markets Firms are Navigating Cloud Migration

By Jade Gamlin|18th January 2023

Scalability, agility and continuous innovation are just a some of the opportunities to be gained from migrating to the cloud. Capital markets firms once led the way in technology innovation, with their focal position in maintaining economic stability driving them to stay ahead of the game. However, they have rapidly become laggards in the space with the escalation of industry challenges and the introduction of new ones.  

Accenture estimates only five to 10 percent of the industry is operating with truly cloud-based solutions, a picture that could have a catastrophic outcome if they fail to keep up with financial services firms already embracing innovation.  

We know governance and compliance policies must be weaved into transformation strategies in any regulated industry. For fintech outfits, the path to migration is a lot smoother than for legacy institutions, which have to consider on-premise applications and systems and the related data security, governance and regulation challenges. We spoke to IT leaders from a selection of leading capital markets firms to get their insights. Here’s what they told us: 

Data > applications

The migration journey should begin with moving data sources as a priority, such as databases or shared files. It can be tempting to shift any sources where people need to work on the same data or files, yet the strategy should always consider the core benefits: cost, flexibility and security.  

Legacy apps and services

Some legacy applications simply cannot be supported by certain cloud servers, nor can legacy hardware be updated to suit newer versions of cloud. The reality is many financial services organisations will continue to have on-prem as a part of their infrastructure – the secret to success is finding the right balance between on-prem and cloud.  

Go for growth

Cost benefits of cloud are often reaped further along in the cloud journey, and observability of the total cost of ownership can be tricky. It’s likely that the cloud will be more expensive than on-prem, so focusing on the impact of growth and scalability is key. Capital markets are no strangers to volatility and the related unexpected losses, and there are huge benefits to be gained from scaling up or down in line with business demand.  

Take accountability

We know customers are fearful of cloud and any data vulnerabilities it could lead to. Therefore, it’s important for financial services organisations to take control of cloud security, which can be challenging when working with third-party providers. Having internal security visibility is a core component of gaining client confidence and delivering winning customer experience.  

Sourcing talent

Hiring cloud developers is a lengthy process and often, graduates coming into the industry only want to work in the cloud and have minimal experience of running services on premise. Retaining and upskilling existing staff is likely a cheaper and faster route to expanding the cloud ecosystem.  


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