When it comes to technology adoption, we’re seeing the market and participants adopt cloud technologies, and increasingly, machine learning (ML) on a wider scale. Cloud technology allows for easier, faster, and much more secure experimentation with large datasets and ML.

A Google sponsored study by Coalition Greenwich (September, 2021) showed that more than 93% of trading systems, exchanges, and data providers are in some way providing services on the cloud. The same study, revealed that about 72% of the financial industry across the buy side and sell side, intend to consume public cloud-data based market data.

Data-driven decision-making and risk management have always been, and continue to remain, the cornerstones of the financial markets. Over time, technology innovation has facilitated access to better insights from data, and therefore, better decision-making and the ability to manage risk. That expectation is now mainstream, and will continue to grow in sophistication. 

The movement of exchanges to the cloud will occur in a “crawl-walk-run” fashion, with low-hanging fruits the first to be picked in the near term while bigger, paradigmatic changes will occur over the medium and long term. Some organizations are starting all three stages simultaneously, understanding that each will move at an independent cadence.

The “crawl” phase is one in which foundations are built, starting with organizations moving data to the cloud and experimenting with some degree of analytics. It’s one of the most important phases because it’s where the opportunity to increase transparency and risk management takes shape. 

In moving to the cloud, the infrastructure – which in the past relied on a combination of people, processes, and some technology – becomes the code that runs applications. This early phase is key to empowering organizations to shift to a cloud-based, agile-first operating model that makes it easier and more seamless to launch new products in the future, including by freeing up people and resources from IT management to more mission-focused work.

Establishing the cloud operating model simplifies the “walk” and “run” phases where compliance is more automated, latency-sensitive applications are more readily available, and the next generation of exchanges, market participants, and regulators is better prepared to meet future challenges.

The “walk” phase is where much of the innovation happens. Exchanges are making significant progress in leveraging foundational data decisions in the “crawl” phase and innovations in the cloud to improve settlement, clearing, risk management, collateral management, and compliance, and launch new products. 

And finally, the “run” phase is where organizations will start to move the latency-sensitive markets to the cloud, as the markets increasingly will demand low-latency and high performance along with transparency and analytics to solve historical obstacles to market access.

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