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Asset managers look to the cloud on search for alpha

14 December 2017

The global investment markets continue to challenge investor objectives with volatility and low returns, while asset managers operate under increasing regulatory burdens and competition from lower-cost asset management models. For these capital constrained firms, significant costs, unnecessary spending and unwieldy IT infrastructures are coming under the spotlight. Tight resources need to be focused on generating business value and engaging clients. As a result, scalable, cheaper and more agile IT architecture delivered via the cloud is high on the list of priorities.

According to recent research from analyst firm Celent, a growing number of firms are looking to put key front-office functions onto the cloud. This trend is particularly apparent among the buy-side, "who are more open to service-based models and already have experience of using hosted solutions for many of their functions."

This trend witnessed by Celent reflects our own experience with our asset manager clients when it comes to their investment management platforms. Many of our conversations are focused on the relative merits of solely outsourcing their IT infrastructure versus outsourcing their IT architecture and the management of the applications associated with their front-office systems. While the cost benefits of moving infrastructure to the cloud are compelling, we've found that many firms are just as interested – if not more – in offloading responsibility for application management and everything that entails.

Such a service includes hosting the software in the cloud, but also the management of upgrades and real-time feeds; the execution of overnight data loads and start-of-day processes, and assistance with troubleshooting. Adopting this approach means that asset managers can mitigate the cost, time and effort associated with maintenance and upgrades, as well as reducing the fixed costs linked to hardware and applications.

This is exactly what we're offering through the thinkFolio managed service, our cross-asset investment management platform. The managed service leverages the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud allowing firms to scale up (or down) their use of the cloud as their needs evolve and providing the strong security, back-up and disaster recovery functionality expected from AWS and ourselves. We also layer on application-specific expertise to deliver a complete managed service for clients.

Read more about the thinkFolio managed service, or feel free to reach out to our team directly on for more information.

Spiros Giannaros, global head of thinkFolio and EDM at IHS Markit
Tel: +44 20 7260 2000



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