September 28, 2016

Saket Sharma: Cloud computing – the next big frontier in the fintech revolution


BNY Mellon’s Chief Information Officer for Treasury Services Saket Sharma shared his insights on the benefits and challenges of being “in the cloud” during the FT-TCS BaNCS Financial Leaders Dinner Forum on Wednesday, September 28, at the Sibos conference in Geneva.

The discussion focused on how banks and other financial market participants, many of whom have been slow to move to web-based technology including the cloud, are now realizing the cloud imperative and adopting this new way of operating. 

BNY Mellon began its own cloud journey several years ago, with the creation of its own private cloud, called BNY Mellon Extreme Platform (BXP) and today is exploring ways to make public cloud part of its strategy. Commenting on the next big frontier in the fintech revolution Sharma says: “Cloud, whether public or private, is undeniably more efficient; it conserves infrastructure resources; and it dramatically increases developer productivity. While many large companies gravitate towards a public cloud provider, for us, the logical starting point was to build a private cloud, which we host in our own data centers. Now, as cloud technology is advancing and many of our concerns about privacy and security are being sufficiently addressed it makes sense to bring public cloud into our strategy.”

However as Sharma explains, BNY Mellon does not see a full switch-over to public cloud in its immediate future, opting instead for a hybrid cloud approach that will allow the company to reap some of the cost savings of a public cloud approach while still taking advantage of the investments made in its data center networks during the transition.  

“Converting applications to the cloud requires a significant time and resource investment,” Sharma explains. “To then convert applications from private cloud to public cloud again requires a resource investment, so you need to weigh that cost against the benefits and prioritize your migration plans.”

According to Sharma, the conversion of applications to a chosen public cloud provider may not be the end of a company’s cloud development costs.

“As it is today, there are no established standards for cloud computing. How you develop an app for private cloud is different than how you develop for ‘Public Cloud Provider A’, which is different than how you develop for ‘Public Cloud Provider B.’ So, what if you go with Provider A and you aren’t satisfied? If you’ve made a big investment into upgrading your legacy technology to cloud thinking you’ve solved your problems, you may actually be facing a big problem down the road as a result of costly vendor lock-in. This is why BNY Mellon is a strong supporter of the establishment of developing cloud standards because only through standardization can all industries, not just financial services, fully harvest this cloud’s potential.”