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How IHS Markit’s WSO is using cloud technology to help clients compete in a faster, higher-volume loan market

08 November 2021

IHS Markit's WSO platform is now a cloud-native solution running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), allowing clients of this loan portfolio management solution faster transaction processing, greater reliability, and deeper data insights.

The WSO migration comes at a critical time for today's loan market. Transaction volumes are growing exponentially, and the resulting portfolio management workloads have become far more unpredictable. Within WSO's fully outsourced solution, total client AUM has spiked 20% in just the past year and now exceeds $600 billion.

The needs of the loan market are also shifting, as the move away from the LIBOR benchmark is spurring new demands on the software systems that underpin asset managers' operations. Peak demand periods at month and quarter end have become more pronounced, and clients increasingly need more real-time data, more frequently, to drive investing insights and feed risk and trading systems.

For the syndicated and private loan markets, these new challenges have highlighted the need for nimble thinking and new technology.

"Moving to a cloud-native platform allowed IHS Markit to seamlessly connect systems and improve overall efficiency of the services provided to our customers," said Elina Gokh, Global Head of Credit Solutions at IHS Markit. "This migration allows users to analyze data faster, offering managers a more integrated view into their portfolio."

WSO can now respond instantly to intraday volume changes, as computing power can adjust automatically hour by hour. As a result, clients now benefit from more frequent updates to other technology platforms, like those used for accounting and trading. And queue times for workloads have become much shorter.

"We believe that the speed of change occurring in the credit market is unprecedented, and our engagement with IHS Markit has always kept us ahead of the curve," said Michael Schuster, Product Manager Alternative Fund Services at Brown Brothers Harriman. "The enhancements to the WSO platform will continue to give us that leading edge, as it plays an integral role in connecting solutions in credit to client workflows and will provide the next generation of client experience."

The WSO migration is part of IHS Markit's broader, three-year effort to move the majority of its data processing infrastructure, corporate platforms, and end user applications and services to AWS to accelerate innovation and improve resiliency.

"We are excited to deepen our long-standing relationship with IHS Markit as they continue to drive transformation across their portfolio of products and services," said Scott Mullins, Managing Director of Financial Services at Amazon Web Services, Inc. "Moving WSO to AWS's resilient, secure, global infrastructure will give IHS Markit's global clients quicker access to critical information where and when they need it."

A cloud-native migration

Importantly, WSO's migration to AWS involved far more than shifting systems and services from IHS Markit data centers to the cloud. While many competitors have chosen to simply run their legacy applications on cloud infrastructure — if they are offering a cloud service at all — IHS Markit has embarked on a full cloud-native transformation. IHS Markit identified specific workloads within the solution and isolated them from each other, allowing each to adjust to demand independently to provide the fastest processing times possible.

"Segmenting these workloads out and letting them independently scale makes our platform more reliable and resilient," said Ryan Church, CTO for WSO at IHS Markit. "That means we are able to process more transactions for more clients and deliver the data back to them. Some will be cash payments that they want to reinvest, so it's very important, actionable data when time is of the essence."

The cloud-native migration is benefiting customers in three core areas:

Scalability: Clients can now take advantage of enhanced automatic scalability built into WSO. This means much faster completion rates on calculation-heavy processes related to the LIBOR transition or important quarter-end financial reports. During the end of the second quarter of 2021, for example, WSO processed nearly 2,700 transactions per minute on behalf of clients, compared to fewer than 1,500 transactions per minute at the end of the first quarter. These improvements mean smoother operations and shortened or eliminated wait times for clients. It also offers increased assurance that downstream systems have been protected.

Reliability: Through the migration, individual elements of the platform were redesigned, resulting in a more reliable system with faster updates and a reduced possibility of outages. The system can also accommodate a significant volume of requests simultaneously without risking delays. And as activities are handled within shorter time windows, IHS Markit teams can focus on critical actions such as reconciliation to true-up activities to cash payments.

Agility: The platform has an exceptional ability to respond to intraday volume changes. Prior to the conversion, computing demand needs were forecast well in advance and were difficult to adjust after the fact. Now, forecasts can be computed on a daily or hourly basis, resulting in shorter queue times for workloads and faster overall processing. This allows clients to generate the daily, monthly and quarterly reports they need far more quickly and accurately. It also provides new features that enable clients to garner deeper insights into the data to better understand risks and opportunities within their portfolio.

Learn more about IHS Markit's AWS-powered loan solutions and how they can keep pace with your growing needs.

IHS Markit provides industry-leading data, software and technology platforms and managed services to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in financial markets. We help our customers better understand complicated markets, reduce risk, operate more efficiently and comply with financial regulation.


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