Breakthrough Innovation: A Sneak Peak Fireside Chat
During the Breakthrough Innovation: A Sneak Peek Fireside Chat session, Peter Sermetis, CFA, was interviewed by Valisha Graves. Peter is a Global Account Manager at AWS. He is an expert at leveraging his diverse customer and technical expertise in directing the development and delivery of global teams to address business needs for Financial Services clients transitioning to the cloud.
During the fireside chat, Peter and Valisha discussed:
- Who are the Cloud providers?
- How disruptive is the cloud?
- What are the Cloud transitioning strategies?
- How Secure is the Cloud?
- IT Democratization.
- The Future of the Cloud.
- Recommendations to CFA Charter holders.
Who are the Cloud providers?
To no one’s surprise, Cloud adoption accelerated during the pandemic. The cloud’s elastic supply characteristic has allowed both small and large participants an easier access to IT infrastructure at both a small and large scale. The days of capital budget planning around IT infrastructure spending has changed permanently. The cloud’s persistent global presence in all regions of the globe has increasingly allowed unfettered access to IT resources. The three cloud providers included were Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google. Peter informed participants that the providers had similar product offerings to each other.
How disruptive is the cloud?
Pressure from start-ups has forced faster innovation. Today’s cloud services differ from prior co-location services as the hardware aspect of the infrastructure is no longer a responsibility of the customer. Compute, storage, and networking infrastructure are provided as opposed to co-location services that hold the customer accountable for the hardware purchases.
As mentioned earlier, the capital budgeting process is shifting from capital expense decisions to operating expense planning. The “pay-as-you-go” or by utility pricing has become the norm.
What are the Cloud transitioning strategies?
The new utility pricing and service offerings allow for supply elasticity to meet volatile demand. The elastic nature of the cloud allows smaller firms to adopt newer technologies more rapidly by not being subject to the baggage of difficult to maintain legacy systems.
While slower to adopt, larger firms are still accelerating their adoption by starting new lines of business and transferring legacy businesses to the cloud. The approaches firms are taking with their legacy business varies from lift-and-shift methods to more methodical re-designed applications for the cloud. Peter noted that most successful transitions by large firms start with an executive committee mandate that focuses on cost driven and operational flexibility initiatives.
How Secure is the Cloud?
Security priority has not changed in the cloud. In order to reduce the risk, firms are starting with initiatives that are usually focused on smaller applications. To become more comfortable with understanding how to operate in the cloud. As a result, data encryption importance has increased with cloud adoption.
Peter and Valesha both agreed that smaller firms have increased access to services at scale and have geographically dispersed businesses to be more common. Friction has been reduced as access to data and tighter collaboration with partners are sometimes eliminated as barriers to entry are lowered. More specifically, as the prevalence of cloud created businesses, it has increased the ability to share partner resources and take advantage of network proximity.
The Future of the Cloud
Peter predicted that cloud providers’ product offerings will mature to more integrated service offerings. Peter also promoted the idea of more accessible quantum computing availability to a larger audience of customers.
Recommendations to CFA Charterholders
Peter mentioned that the typical CFA charter holder should leverage their domain expertise. as it relates to understanding the economics of companies and how a firm’s procurement of technology can impact on the business model of potential investments. Peter also stressed the importance of charter holders experimenting with cloud services and offerings such as ML. Several on-line training resources were mentioned such as A Cloud Gure and Cloud Academy.