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Real-time market data cloud technology

Bob Cracknell
Bob Cracknell
Director, Market Development, Enterprise – Asia

As the benefits of cloud computing continue to drive adoption and innovation of cloud technology, what’s next for Asia Pacific’s growing user base?

  1. Scaling across geographies and industries. As entry barriers fall and cloud-based technologies become more ubiquitous, adoption is rising rapidly and new use cases are emerging.
  2. The march towards real-time. Cloud technologies are not only accelerating the way firms work, they are changing the nature of the data they use, with workloads increasingly becoming real-time.
  3. The next frontier. The ability to access more data more quickly will support the next wave of start-ups and accelerate the use of machine learning. With our real-time market data now available on Amazon Web Services in Asia, we can help you make the most of the opportunities ahead.

Growing pace of cloud adoption

Rapid advances in cloud technology have democratized access to data and overcome concerns about information security, privacy and data residency – and this is driving investment. According to a recent survey conducted by Refinitiv, the average proportion of organizations’ total IT budget spent on public cloud is expected to hit 48% in 2020, up from 34% in 2018.

Public Cloud Barometer 2019 survey

In a fast-changing and increasingly competitive business environment, getting a product or service quickly to market can be just as important as achieving upfront cost-savings. Our recent survey shows that public cloud projects are achieving both.

More than two-thirds of asset managers and stock brokerage firms noted that the projects performed better than expected in terms of both accelerated time to market and speed of implementation. Public cloud projects also bettered expectations on immediate cost reductions as well as lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

It has also become increasingly clear that, while firms continue to cite data residency and regulatory concerns as factors limiting cloud adoption, the market data domain is arguably a sweet spot for cloud projects. In this space the data privacy rules associated with customer content do not necessarily come into play, but data volumes are often enormous, requiring significant compute capacity for analytics workloads.

With cloud providers responding rapidly (and investing heavily) to address industry concerns over data center location, security, scalability and performance, the combined benefits of rapid time to market, lower TCO, access to massive compute resources and the rise of an ecosystem of interoperable software and data capabilities, are becoming too powerful to ignore.

Scaling across geographies and industries

In the past, the cloud market in Asia was largely constrained by affordability. It’s a different story now as Asia’s growing wealth and unique demographics create huge opportunities for the financial industry in general and cloud adoption in particular.

Multiple factors such as large unbanked populations, rapidly expanding tech-savvy workforces, the diversity of markets offering unique domestic and international investment opportunities, and government policies encouraging capital inflows are all creating the conditions for fintech to thrive in Asia. In the first quarter of 2019, India inched ahead of China for VC-backed fintech deals, accounting for about $285 million of funding during that period.

We see use cases for market data in the cloud not only among the most advanced economies of Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia but also within emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, where innovation is thriving and firms have an opportunity to leapfrog traditional solutions, build natively within the cloud and avoid the complexities of on-premise infrastructure altogether.

Marching towards real-time

Historically, access to streaming data has been limited to a relatively small number of market participants and use-cases. Setting up an infrastructure to manage application access to tens or hundreds of thousands of streaming data items via application programming interfaces (APIs) has typically required a major investment in on-premise hardware and network capacity.

Furthermore, the often mission-critical nature of real-time applications requires significant resilience that historically only on-premise, dedicated hardware could offer. As a result, functions such as front-office and pre-trade workflow have often been among the last to migrate to the cloud.

Refinitiv’s Elektron Real-Time (ERT) in the cloud offering changes this. We’ve partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to lower barriers to entry and enable existing and new consumers of streaming data to leverage cloud in the real-time or streaming data domain. The service has been live globally for some time, but as demand has increased across Asia, we’ve extended AWS into the region, connecting straight to our local collection and distribution hubs for Asian market data.

Refinitiv’s real-time data offering in AWS provides access to information on more than 80 million financial instruments, including exclusive data sets, to a range of businesses that include banks, brokers, asset managers, hedge funds, payments and remittance companies or indeed any firm looking to track financial markets intraday. We see particular interest in commodities and foreign exchange use cases where intraday volatility and price movement can be high.

Looking to new frontiers

In a business environment that’s increasingly driven by technology, there is a huge opportunity cost attached to not embracing the cloud.

As a result, financial firms have dramatically increased both their comfort levels and knowledge of how cloud tech can drive their businesses, and projects are increasingly becoming more real-time in nature.

The next big wave of change is already here, as financial institutions exploit the convergence of three key factors: the continued explosion in volume and variety of data; the democratization of access to massive compute capacity at affordable prices and; the increasing open availability of machine learning tools and libraries that are already being deployed at scale on huge amounts of historical data.

The next frontier is analyzing millions of historical and streaming financial data points at scale and high speed in the cloud. We are responding by constantly investing in, updating and adapting our data and services to help you seize market opportunities, overcome regulatory challenges and scale intelligently.

Give your users the cost-efficient access they need to our global, real-time exchange, OTC and contributed data.