Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing - Morgan Stanley is Banking on the Cloud

One of the more interesting points that kept reoccurring was the need for better security

Regardless of the downturn in the markets, Morgan Stanley is on track to spend more than ever on their IT budget. They seem to think that during periods of lower economic activity it gives them a rare opportunity to establish themselves in new areas of emerging technology that may give them a competitive advantage down the road.

I've spent the last few days hanging out with a bunch of bankers at the annual Morgan Stanley CTO Summit in San Francisco. The invite-only event mixes the top Morgan Stanley technology personnel, emerging technology companies and key players in the venture capital world.

Cloud Computing was a noticeably "hot topic" of conversation at this year's summit. My invitation to this year's event was a rare opportunity to pick the brains of the true enterprise decision-makers on the challenges as well as the opportunities for cloud computing within a large financial environment. This year was particularly interesting because of the downturn in the finance market and challenges associated with it.

I was surprised by just how informative this event actually was. I figured it would be just another "bankers" tech get together. I was wrong. Below are some of the key points I took away from the summit.

Cloud Computing was front and center this year
Cloud Computing was front and center this year. One of the more interesting points that kept reoccurring was the need for better security. There seems to be a definite desire to use "Cloud Infrastructure" both internally within high performance computing, trading platforms and other various software platform services. There seems to be a genuine desire to use external cloud resources such as Amazon. The need to secure data in the cloud was one of their single biggest concern. Those who offer this kind of "bridge to the cloud" will be the ones who will bring the most value to the banking industry. What is interesting, for the time being they seem more interested in keeping their "compute resources" safely tucked under the mattress then putting it to the hands of a "book store". (Personally I'd rather keep my money in the bank where it is safe and more easily managed in the same way I'd rather keep my computing infrastructure in a well managed cloud rather then in my office closet. Until the major banks realize this, I don't foresee a lot of movement toward the public cloud.)

Another interesting takeaway, the traditional enterprise sales model is dead. Getting in through the back door is the way of the future. SaaS, Cloud and Open source are all viable options and in some ways preferred. They provide a frictionless way for IT works within Morgan Stanley a way to try new approaches, services and technologies. They were also quick to point out that whether or not the software was traditional or hosted was secondary to what "problem" it solved. The ability to solve a partcular problem was the most important aspect in getting your product or service in the door. This point is more important then any license applied to the technology. So don't focus on the "it's SaaS", focus on the problem.


It's all about making money, not saving it
Also interesting was the declaration that cost is not always a major part of the decision process when looking at software and related services. One example was provided by a top level VP, his story involed a 2,000 server deployment used for some sort of risk analysis (he was vague). This deployment of 2,000 servers easily costs them several million dollars, moreover they only use these servers for about 1 hour per month (if at all). But when they do use these servers, on that one day when the "market goes crazy" it could mean the difference between a 2 billion dollar loss or a 1 billion dollar profit. His numbers may have been an exaggerated a bit, but the point hit home. (It's all about making money.)

Another area that kept being mentioned was how virtual desktop deployments are big business for the bank. VDI users now have the ability to work within their own "context" and have their personal desktop environment move with them. No longer do IT staff need to continuely maintain desktops onsite thus saving the bank a lot of time and resources. They also made mention that "human resources" is their biggest technology cost. If a employee changes position, moves to a new office and leaves all together, it's now just a couple of clicks - saving the bank a lot of money.

Interesting was the amount of data integration companies at the event. Based on the sheer volume of data integration companies at the event, I would say they are looking seriously at this area, although my conversations didn't touch upon this topic. (I was way to busy pushing my cloud agenda.)

One of the biggest surprises was, regardless of the downturn in the markets, Morgan Stanley is on track to spend more then ever on their IT budget. They seem to think that during periods of lower economic activity it gives them a rare opportunity to establish themselves in new areas of emerging technology that may give them a competitive advantage down the road. They also seem to think that their use of technology will directly influence their ability to maintain their lead in the lucrative tech IPO market (which appears to be non-existent this year).

They went on to say that the companies that emerge during the hard times tend to do better in the long term (Think Google). Morgan Stanley is ready to apply this to their own business and I applaud them for it. If I ever go IPO, I know who will represent me!

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Traditional IT, great for stable systems of record, is struggling to cope with newer, agile systems of engagement requirements coming straight from the business. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, William Morrish, General Manager of Product Sales at Interoute, outlined ways of exploiting new architectures to enable both systems and building them to support your existing platforms, with an eye for the future. Technologies such as Docker and the hyper-convergence of computing, networking and sto...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...