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10 Profitable outcomes of cloud adoption for investment managers


by Stan Drasky
Managing Director

Stan Drasky, Managing Director at Elgin White

Understanding the “Why?” of your cloud adoption or migration project is essential. By building a complete and compelling business case, which is outcome-oriented, you are more likely to secure budget approval and internal buy-in. 

What are you aiming to achieve? How will your firm, your clients, and other key stakeholders profit from your investment in the Cloud? What will this technology transformation do to help boost assets under management (AuM), reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, and enrich client experience?   

Every investment manager we work with benefits from most, in not all, of the following. Be sure to consider and calculate their relevance for your business, as you build your cloud adoption business case.  

Top 10 profitable outcomes of cloud adoption or migration

  1. Retain and acquire clients. Clients are the lifeblood of every financial institution and the battle to capture market share remains fierce. Buy-side investment managers who fail to move to the Cloud risk becoming uncompetitive and losing clients.  
    In cloud-enabled environments your service and support bars can be raised much faster and more easily, enabling you to remain competitive, attract new business, and retain AuM. Self-service, personalized client communications, and more streamlined, frictionless support are becoming the norm. Those who lag behind risk attrition; those who embrace the Cloud are better equipped to gain market share.  
  2. Facilitate innovation. Innovation creates differentiation, which in turn fuels AuM growth. Innovation is manifested in many forms, which are amply supported within cloud-based infrastructures.  
    Operationally, the Cloud enables firms to deploy innovative, agile process automations that dramatically improve customer experience, staff working practices, team morale, and client cost-to-serve. Increased collaboration, digitalization, and the elimination of disparate systems and data silos facilitate a more holistic client view. This can have a game-changing impact on the level of product innovation you can achieve, thereby boosting your ability to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.  
  3. Accelerate product development. The faster you can create new and innovative financial products, the better equipped you are to differentiate your offerings and gain a competitive advantage. Cloud-based infrastructures enable product development at pace, which fast-tracks time-to-value and can accelerate the growth of your client base over time. To safeguard key stakeholders there is also a growing selection of SaaS-based solutions that alleviate the burden of managing risk, regulatory compliance, and product governance.  
  4. Enable cross-discipline agility. The kind of agility typically associated with the Cloud enables rapid and cost-effective hyper-scaling, in businesses where workloads are highly variable or unpredictable. This is undoubtedly beneficial, but so too is agile self-service provisioning. When it takes just six days, not six months to get an application up and running, the cost, labor, and speed of deployment benefits are substantial.  
    The value of client service and back-office agility is harder to measure, albeit highly prized. When requests from business partners or clients can be dealt with in one pass, or very quickly via an automated background process, you can consolidate costs, and improve the experience for all involved.  
  5. Support “fast fail” analysis. With on-premise installations, several years may pass before the success of any new system or application can be accurately assessed – by which time the cost can already have run into tens of millions of dollars. When projects fail, and applications or systems are decommissioned, these sunk costs can escalate even further, and are unrecoverable.  
    In cloud environments, indicators of failure become apparent within months, not years. In many cases, issues can be remedied quickly and cost-effectively. In the unfortunate (thankfully rare) event that a project must be abandoned it can be done swiftly, saving vast amounts of time and money.  
  6. Stabilize your business. The stability of your IT infrastructure involves minimizing downtime, which is paramount to avoid client frustration and operational inefficiencies. However, stability is also fundamental to business continuity, and to ensuring that your business is as operationally resilient as possible. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) defines operational resilience as the ability to “prevent, adapt and respond to, recover and learn from operational disruption.”  
    Globally, regulators continue to issue new rules to further safeguard consumers and markets. These rules require firms to identify critical business areas and vulnerabilities, and to invest further in their ability to manage disruption. The security, compliance, operational, and disaster recovery standards set by regulators will be difficult to achieve within on-premise environments that are not cloud-enabled.  
  7. Attract and retain the right talent. The global run on talent has proved challenging for investment managers looking to attract skilled individuals across all disciplines. Technology has become a determining factor that can secure and retain the brightest and best candidates.  
    Developers and other IT staff want to work on cool, forward-looking technologies like the Cloud, not decades-old legacy tech that is continually fixed and patched. Investment managers need advanced capabilities and data to keep clients happy, grow AuM and justify fees. Increasingly, this technology is powered by the Cloud, and delivered by SaaS providers.  
  8. Gain a competitive edge. Firms that embrace the Cloud can gain a competitive advantage in terms of speed, scalability, and the ability to rapidly innovate. This can help firms become more agile, access more data and insights, and build and launch products and services ahead of competitors. The Cloud is also at the forefront of digital-first client servicing, which has grown significantly in terms of its ability to attract and retain clients and increase client satisfaction. 
  9. Improve investor experience. As the customer experience (CX) bar continues to rise, investment managers must ensure they are well-positioned to meet the demands of their clients. Cloud-based infrastructures are designed to support CX, providing firms with the ability to quickly develop, deploy, and modify client-facing applications. This can be done in the background, without impacting customer service operations, or disrupting customer service channels.  
  10. Access real-time insights. To improve decision-making and increase the speed of analysis, investment managers need access to real-time data. Cloud-based infrastructures enable businesses to access the latest data, allowing you to identify trends and risks, and build accurate forecasting models. This yields faster, more accurate insights, which can be used to inform strategic decisions and drive growth.  

In conclusion, cloud adoption is proving to be a powerful and profitable means of achieving a wide range of business goals, including client servicing, product innovation, talent acquisition and retention, operational efficiency, and business resiliency. Improvements in these areas can have a game-changing impact on your market responsiveness, competitive differentiation, AuM growth, budget, and resourcing. Be sure to consider these benefits as you build out your business case, because they are increasingly difficult (in some cases impossible) to achieve in non-cloud-enabled environments. 

Get more information on how Elgin White is helping investment management firms with cloud adoption or migration, or contact us to connect with our Cloud subject matter experts.

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Jeremy Hurwitz

Managing Director - North America

Based in Los Angeles, California, Jeremy founded InvestTech Systems Consulting LLC in 1990. As President and Director the Enterprise Data Management and Architecture Practice for more than 25 years he managed over 50 large investment technology, strategy, and implementation projects for many of the largest global investment management firms. Following the acquisition of his firm by Accenture in 2017, Jeremy remained as Managing Director, Asset Management Lead.

Jeremy joined Elgin White in 2022 to lead the firm’s launch into North America. He is recognized throughout the North America asset management community as a thought leader and innovation architect in the design of enterprise data, analytics, and reporting platforms. His deep knowledge, broad buy-side network, and extensive experience deploying business-outcome-focused technology solutions successfully has accelerated the growth of Elgin White in North America.

Stanley Drasky

Managing Director

Stan joined Elgin White in 2020 following an impressive 30-year career working predominantly for world-class buy-side financial services firms in North America and Europe. He is a renowned buy-side technology leader with a reputation for designing and delivering large-scale transformation initiatives at scale and pace. Currently, Stan is especially active leading infrastructure (cloud and managed services) transformation projects.

His most recent roles prior to Elgin White include Chief Information Officer (EMEA) at State Street and various senior positions during his eight-year tenure at Northern Trust Corporation, including Head of IT & EMEA/Global Director of Fund Administration Technology, Global Director of Asset Management Technology, and Director of Trade Execution Technologies. Stan has also held senior Operational and Technology roles at Nuveen Investments and BNY Mellon.

Throughout his career Stan has been a strategic client or partner of every major front-to-back office technology vendor including SimCorp and Charles River Development.

Erik Schutte

Managing Director

Erik founded Elgin White’s consultancy practice in 2019, which transitioned the firm into a full-service buy-side consultancy and resourcing business. He is an experienced front-to-back business transformation professional and has held several senior management positions during his more than 30-year career in the UK and his native Netherlands, as well as Asia Pacific.

Previous roles include Head of Professional Services at SimCorp, Director at PwC UK, and Managing Director for Wealth & Asset Management Services at Accenture UK & Ireland.