Financial services institutions globally have discovered that they are able to get a firm grip on the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their technology and operations by adopting cloud-native technologies. Now, as Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk & Regulatory Reporting (FRR) business outlines in its new white paper, containerization, container orchestration and other concepts usually associated with cloud implementations are helping innovative firms adapt to rapidly changing economic conditions and keep costs under control, particularly in light of COVID-19.
With cloud technologies now widely accepted, senior management is being tasked to become more tech-savvy and embrace ways that technology can make a difference to an organization’s bottom line. Cloud-native technology, at a fundamental level, ensures an institution’s resources are used more efficiently by reducing fixed costs and allowing better management of available assets. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for such operational flexibility.
“The ability to shift operationally from a farm of servers costing tens of thousands of dollars to virtually zero if your activity suddenly dries up, is a substantial margin control tool that is enabled by cloud-native technologies,” explains Steve Hostettler, Director of Product Software Engineering at Wolters Kluwer FRR and author of the paper. “The benefits of using container technology – shells that encapsulate applications specifically designed for the cloud – do not, however, require immediately going to the cloud. Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, containers and container orchestration technology – like Kubernetes, Docker and Helm – help organizations respond to opportunities in times of economic expansion but also rapidly reduce costs when hit with a crisis like COVID-19.”
Moving assets to the cloud is a natural way of optimizing TCO, making it easier to cope with variations in business volumes. Financial institutions were initially reluctant to move to the cloud, but cloud technologies have evolved substantially, becoming increasingly mainstream and industrialized.
Moving to the cloud can be done in three ways, the paper notes, depending on the number of legacy systems, the amount of investment, and the appetite for change within your organization. There are options to suit each situation, and choosing among a lift and shift approach, re-platforming, or a full re-architecting is a decision that will have to suit an institution’s situation.
Notably, containerization and container orchestration represent a natural way to apply re-platforming on legacy applications that can support business strategy. Containerization and container orchestration are seen as ways to bridge typical on-premise architecture and the cloud. Containers use resources efficiently, enabling firms to pay for only what they need and nothing more.
“To support their own Software-as-a-Solution offerings as well as customer deployments, innovative financial institutions are investing in containers and container orchestration, helping them manage in-memory grid computing capabilities supporting finance and risk modules for AnaCredit, MAS 610 and other regulatory requirements,” adds Hostettler. “Thinking about the future innovation, whether in the financial services industry or elsewhere, is no longer an ‘if’ – it is a must. To stay nimble and ahead of the curve, senior management at financial institutions must keep on top of developments in every aspect of the business, from regulation, to risk management, to business development and new revenue streams, to technology and operations.”