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
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
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...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...