I don’t think I can remember the last meeting I attended where the risks and rewards of the cloud was not top of mind for our customers.
In addition to representing a fundamental shift in people’s lives generally and corporate IT specifically, the financial markets have been operating in an environment of low interest rates, increased capital requirements and greater regulatory scrutiny which has meant shrinking profits across the industry.
What differentiates you
When profits disappear or become harder to generate, companies think about change with more urgency, they are forced to innovate and simplify while sharpening their focus on what differentiates them.
So, while at BT we have a culture that embraces the transformative potential of the cloud for many things including trader voice, we also appreciate the concerns about performance, security and compliance associated with cloud adoption for real-time, mission-critical applications.
No matter the customer’s desired end-state cloud architecture (public/private/hybrid), the starting point of the journey for these customers is old-school: they will be migrating from a proprietary, closed, on-premise platform with a reactive break/fix support model connecting to the outside world via dedicated digital point-to-point telephone circuits.
Going in the right direction
A simple checklist might help you to get going in the right direction:
- Understand whether public, private or hybrid cloud is right for you
- Choose a vendor partner with expertise, experience and scale in cloud for the capital markets industry
- Ensure your solution architecture can deliver the quality of service your trading floors demand
- Seek a solution with an open architecture and strong partner ecosystem
- Find out whether the solution offers recording, integrated UC, proactive service management and analytics
- Find out whether the solution conforms to your firm’s and regulator security and compliance standards
- Find out whether the purchasing model allows you to flex up and down with your business
Voice in the cloud
Sure, moving voice to the cloud offers the agility firms are looking for, combined with a subscription model that reduces or eliminates upfront capital expense and the need for in-house trader voice specialists.
But not all cloud solutions are alike. For example, does public cloud meet the industry-specific thresholds for performance, security and compliance that trading firms require? At the moment, I’m noticing that many firms are hesitant to trust their trader voice to the public cloud.
On the other hand, a private cloud solution combines all the safety of an old-world deployment, with the rewards of a cloud model. In addition, the flexibility to choose whether you use your firm’s data centres and network or the vendor’s, is an added benefit.
Such private cloud solutions also satisfy compliance concerns, delivering the ability to automatically assure that every conversation your trading teams have is properly recorded and securely archived. Not only does this remove the need for daily spot checks of your compliance recording technology by your operations teams, these services come with guarantees, too.
It’s also important to consider that your security is significantly enhanced by private cloud where dedicated application instances are used instead of the standard multi-tenant architecture in public cloud.
Amid all this ambiguity it is tempting to do nothing, but as the cloud develops and vendor solutions mature, there will be a cloud offer that addresses the specific needs of your firm and meets industry standards for performance, security and compliance.