A Cloud & Data Innovation Story
Managing investments for a wide range of clients, from individuals to financial advisors and institutions, means living and breathing high volumes of financial services data, every day. Typically, analysts will process and analyse data to provide the best stock-trading recommendations to portfolio managers, who then make final trading decisions for their clients. It’s vital then that data is collected and stored in a way that keeps it secure and manageable.
As with many organisations in the financial services industry, our client, a globally diverse asset management firm, was heavily reliant on external market data sources being processed through on-premise databases. This created three significant challenges:
- Risk: Processing scripts and raw code used to turn data into meaningful insights were stored and executed on analysts’ personal machines, which created vulnerability to anything from a security breach to a coffee spill.
- Manageability: Having data in multiple locations made finding specific information difficult and time consuming.
- End-to-end Processing Time: The time it took to access the data analysts required to produce market research reports was becoming prohibitive to portfolio managers’ ability to make quick and informed market recommendations.
As a pre-cloud organisation, our client recognised that the cloud would offer many positive business impacts and power more efficient data analytics. While an innovation project of this scope can seem like a massive undertaking, Lixar Fuelled by BDO is experienced in meeting clients where they are, and creating customised roadmaps to get them where they want to be, on their own terms; which is the basis of our Lixar Cloud Adoption Framework.
For this project, we started by performing a deep-dive assessment of the client’s existing architecture, which was a large ecosystem that included multiple SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages. Working with one specific use case to improve business outcomes on risk, manageability, and processing times, we recommended a roadmap that would offer a scalable and flexible first step into digital innovation: a secure, cloud-based data platform that would keep everything in one, manageable and accessible environment.
The platform was built with continuous deployment environments, using best practices for ingesting and transforming data in the cloud. The solution ensured that not only is everything now stored in one, secure environment (making it more accessible and easier to manage), but that all new data is also now ingested directly into the environment, where it is transformed and processed.
Hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud, the solution leverages best-in-class components, such as Azure Data Factory for ingesting and orchestrating, and Azure Databricks for transforming and processing. Once the data is processed, analysts use the results to write scripts to recommend optimal stock trades to their clients.
With the new solution in place, the client now has a stable platform that meets key business outcomes, and leverages the cloud for a variety of benefits:
- Increased security
- Decreased damages risk
- Simplified environment for better data management and efficiency
- Significantly reduced processing times
- Decreased infrastructure costs
- Ability to easily adopt automation when ready
- Scalability for future growth
Additionally, as a scalable, data-driven and cloud-powered solution, it offers a lot of potential for growth. Future steps will include expanding into more use cases, generating reports, and migrating scripts to automate recommendations that analysts can then make final decisions about.
Unlocking digital innovation is more than a simple lift to the cloud. It’s about adopting a holistic approach that will allow your organisation to become fully cloud-enabled, taking advantage of all the benefits, from cost savings and increased security, to advanced data analytics, and predictive AI. It’s about adopting technologies today that will drive growth tomorrow, as demonstrated through this project. By investing in cloud and data technologies, this asset management firm was able to increase their business value by meeting real business outcomes, including decreased risk, increased manageability, and reduced processing times, while also gaining the ability to scale for future growth.
Whether you’re in the pre-cloud adoption phase, the early cloud adoption phase, or even in the mature cloud adoption phase, having the right support to guide you through your digital innovation journey is the key to your success in today’s digital landscape. Our Lixar Cloud Adoption Framework is a foundation for innovation and continuous improvement, no matter where you are on the cloud maturity scale. Read more about how our adoption framework is designed to support many paths to business value, in our blog, Unlocking Digital Innovation.
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