I love a good Throwback Thursday, and for today's post, I want to throw it back to five years ago this month. It was April 2012, and we were hosting one of our biggest and most ambitious events: a Hedge Fund Cloud Summit. At the time, cloud computing was widely discussed and adoption was certainly growing, but there were still a number of lingering questions heard across the industry with regards to financial and business impacts of the cloud, effects on in-house IT staffs and, of course, security.
We still answer many questions related to these topics today, so I thought it might be fun to take a look back at the four panel topics we addressed back in the 2012 event and examine how much the conversation has really changed - or in some cases, how perhaps it's stayed the same.
Making the Business (and Financial) Case for the Cloud
For hedge fund COOs and CFOs, the business impact of a move to the cloud is still a critical consideration for established firms. But many of the myths and common questions that were prevalent back in 2012 are now pretty easy to explain. How do investors feel about the cloud? In 2017, investors are generally comfortable with the cloud if not in favor of it over legacy, on-premise IT infrastructure setups. Is the cloud really more cost-effective? This question was a long-standing 'myth' that's been debunked; for some firms, yes, costs may be lower depending on their previous infrastructure and personnel situation, but for all, the predictability of cost is what has become a primary driver for cloud adopters.
Examining the Changing Role of the Hedge Fund CTO in the Cloud Era
We've discussed this topic a number of times since 2012, but more than ever, we're certainly seeing a shift in the way investment firm CTOs and IT Directors are managing their own time and that of their staffs. These individuals are juggling more responsibilities than ever (e.g. regulatory and compliance requirements, strategic business objectives, cybersecurity management and threat mitigation, etc.), and as such, are realizing the benefits the cloud has to offer.
Hosting Your Applications in the Cloud: What You Need to Know
Hedge funds rely on a number of critical applications to support their daily trading, execution, risk management practices, etc. And in recent years, the cloud has clearly emerged as the leading venue for hosting said applications. While there do remain some investment managers who prefer control of their own apps in their own offices, most hedge funds appreciate the flexibility, scalability and security managed cloud platforms and infrastructure-as-a-service providers have to offer.
Practicing Safe Security in the Cloud
Alas, we come to everyone's favorite topic: security. Cloud security fears lingered in the financial services industry for years, but most firms and investors today are in agreement that security practices in the cloud have come a long way. And in many cases, managed cloud providers are far more equipped to invest in robust, resilient and top-tier cybersecurity technologies and protections than an individual firm would have the ability to afford or manage.
Funny how five years later, we're still talking about many of the same topics related to the hedge fund cloud.