Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, 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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
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...
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, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determin...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...