Cloud must be pre-eminent in software delivery and use, says StatPro CEO

Justin Wheatley, CEO of software company StatPro, says that the days of financial company systems being dominated by multiple layers of bought in software applications and databases are definitely over.

By way of example, he said that it was 40x faster to update StatPro’s own software as a service clients, compared to its clients that have installed the same software but in a traditional way.

The key driver of such benefits is the cloud’s ability to offer IT that works with elasticity of demand among end users.

“Elasticity of demand is the genius of the cloud,” Wheatley said.

This means, for example, that users of cloud based services only pay for the processing power they need at any one time. For example, rather than buying in computers using top end microprocessors, cloud customers can simply rent time by the hour for particular tasks.

Being able to respond to such elasticity of demand is disrupting the traditional IT hurdle that often separated larger and smaller asset management firms in the past, Wheatley said. In the past, the costs associated with class leading IT solutions was prohibitive for all but the biggest companies. Basic IT outsourcing has existed for smaller companies for some time, but this did not necessarily meet all their needs. Cloud computing now means that smaller managers can access the same level of top end processing power as bigger companies.

What makes this possible is the comittment of a number of the biggest IT companies, such as IBM, Amazon and Google, all of which are firmly focused on delivering the infrastructure that allows for elasticity of demand to be met in regard to computing power required at any one time. Essentially they keep buying servers manufactured in China and connecting these to the internet via their own hubs. Together with special software that can detect peaks in user demand, for example, when more data intensive inquires come from clients, it means end users get all the processing power they need whenever they need it.

Wheatley said that the cloud model therefore could allow firms to cost their IT use according to what they actually required; say, more processing power to crunch through hundreds of client portfolios for monthly updates, but at other times using less processing power to carry out ad hoc or simpler day to day tasks.

The continued development of cloud solutions is even coining its own nomenclature, such as cloud bursting – which may occur when an application being run on a private cloud decides it needs to access more processing power, and spills over into the public cloud.

What is certain is that cloud based services are not going away. Wheatley said its development was as significant as the impact of grid based electricity supply was at the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century, when companies that hitherto had operated their own elecricity power plants found they could access cheaper and more reliable electricity through national grids.

 

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