Cloud Computing Helps Firms Control Costs: Q&A

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Arnaud de Chavagnac, Murex

(For the 2019 FTF News Technology Innovation Awards, Murex won for Software Solution of the Year and Best Cloud Computing Solution. Murex describes itself as a provider of integrated trading, risk management, processing and post-trade solutions, available via the MX.3 third-generation platform. For this Q&A, the focus is on cloud computing and Arnaud de Chavagnac, head of cloud solutions marketing at Murex, answered questions from FTF News. Chavagnac is responsible for the product marketing of cloud solutions at Murex. He oversees the go-to-market approach for Murex cloud offerings, and works with Murex engineering, customers and major cloud providers. During the last 12 years at Murex, he has served in several senior positions in partnership management and business development. Before joining Murex, he worked at relational database vendor Sybase and IBM.)

Q: Why do clients want to move more of their activities to the cloud?

A: The move to the cloud is motivated by three core factors.

Firstly, customers want to bring additional value to their business through Murex’s MX.3 platform. With cloud, Murex clients have the tools and best practices to innovate in and around their Murex application, increasing flexibility and ensuring they have a modern infrastructure that evolves with the market.

Secondly, the cloud injects agility into a bank’s IT ecosystem. For example, cloud allows Murex clients to spin up a new MX.3 environment for a specific business need quickly and easily. Available on demand, this instant provisioning removes the traditional limitations of on-premise infrastructure.

Finally, the cloud can help capital markets participants accurately control TCO [total cost of ownership]. Historically, hardware costs have been a major pain point for banks. Shared across different departments, it was difficult to clearly see what was being used and to identify the true cost of infrastructure.

With cloud, it is possible to monitor costs in real-time and put in place alerts and automatic decisions to ensure that costs remain below a user-defined threshold.

Q: Is moving to the cloud an admission by a client that they are struggling with internal development? Or are they looking for a new way to build systems and applications?

A: The move to the cloud is not a sign of struggle, rather it shows that financial institutions are looking for new ways to innovate and meet the evolving needs of their business.

It is true that in the past, banks have faced inefficiencies with on-premise infrastructure, including long delivery delays and complex ordering processes. The ease of use and virtually unlimited capacity of cloud resolve these traditional hardware constraints.

Mastering the cloud opens the door to developing applications in a new way.

By combining this structural change with a shift in corporate culture, for example introducing DevOps principles, it is possible to offer even more value to the end user.

Q: Why was it important to offer IaaS and PaaS options for clients?

A: Over the past 10 years, financial institutions have had to shoulder a heavy, costly and complex regulatory burden.

Changing requirements and timelines have made it difficult for banks to plan ahead from an infrastructure perspective. With IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service], clients no longer have to guess what will happen in the future — they can simply adjust in real-time.

PaaS [Platform as a Service] is an opportunity to outsource standard activities to an external party, such as a cloud provider.

Taking the example of database administration, a third party would take care of not only the infrastructure required by the database, but the database software installation and the database administration workload.

Both IaaS and PaaS give clients more freedom to focus on their core business.

With early adopters experiencing positive results, capital markets participants are looking to outsource more and more non-differentiating tasks to cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services [AWS] and Microsoft Azure, and technology vendors, such as Murex.

In light of this, Murex has invested heavily to develop an advanced SaaS offering, covering both IaaS and PaaS, and we are seeing a growing number of requests for this type of solution.

Q: Why did Murex decide to take a cloud-forward approach to software development?

A: Murex has been using cloud internally for many years in the development and testing of our software.

Early on, we realized that it was a game-changer and we wanted to make sure that our clients could access the full value of the cloud. The time and research that we have invested in this area now means that Murex customers can rely on our knowledge and experience to move their MX.3 instance directly to the cloud.

Financial institutions are faced with a heavy computational challenge, particularly as a result of new regulation.

With cloud high-performance computing, banks can quickly run sophisticated analytics in a more cost-effective manner. An example of where this is very practical is the calculation of VaR [Value-at-Risk] and XVA [value adjustment], which require the handling of very large amounts of data.

Q: What are the advantages of cloud-native application development?

A: Cloud-native application development allows for the reduction of time to market, greater elasticity and more resilience.

With cloud, it is possible to finish your application more quickly and get it to the end user.

Usage can be scaled up and down depending on requirements, making applications more elastic.

Finally, the availability of the cloud means that it is always easily accessible.

Source: Financial Technologies Forum