CJC recently announced that we have migrated our global managed services, IT monitoring tooling and big data IT analytics platform mosaicOA to public cloud. As part of this, we also announced that we have committed to a ‘cloud first’ policy across our global operations with a focus on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This post discusses the policy, its history and future in the industry and the impact it will have on CJC future technology decision making.
What is a cloud first policy?
A firm with a cloud first policy will ensure that all technical procurement will consider cloud-based solutions before all others. Clearly, this is a ‘by name and by nature’ name which is easy to understand, however it comes with a lot of definitions and complexities. For example, just because we have a cloud first policy, does not mean the final decision would necessarily result in a cloud-based offering. The policy will cover what is a cloud ‘Vendor of Choice’, such as AWS, Azure or in CJC case - GCP.
Cloud first policies – is this a new trend?
Cloud first policies started to pop up a few years after the mainstream use of public cloud - 2008 onwards. Notably, some of the early adopters of cloud first policies were Governments. Some US Government departments-initiated cloud first in 2010 and the UK became fully cloud first in 2013. However, in the capital markets, things tend to work in a slightly different pace. Concerns around IT security, networking latency and multicast raised concerns with many firms. In 2020 CJC noted that our clients had really started to engage in cloud migration discussion and discussing their cloud policies in detail.
Why GCP as a vendor of choice?
A common aspect of a Cloud first policy is a vendor of choice. When we meet clients, who discuss their cloud first policies, they will normally state who their vendor of choice is. There is a lot of different rationale for a vendor of choice:
Many firms have long standing relationships with some cloud vendors which include Microsoft, HP and IBM for example.
These vendors can be providing the firm with a notable footprint of technology and support, all of this makes it straightforward to novate to as a cloud vendor
Many firms started cloud adoption by testing new ideas or migrating test/dev systems which were unrelated to critical/production systems.
Choosing any vendor during this process would start the firms experience in a particular cloud vendors technology.
For CJC, from 2017 our technical team immersed in public cloud technologies, concepts, and innovations, reaching out and working with the major cloud providers globally. An objective was to uncover what cloud technologies we viewed would work best with the capital markets system we support. A key output was our strategic view of container-based technologies, such as docker and Kubernetes were going to be a game changer. These concepts would of be great assistance to the capital markets in the transformation of major notable critical messaging platforms and affiliated concepts like databases to a cloud market data platform.
From that point CJC began to train staff and focused specifically to Google Cloud Platform to leverage the Kubernetes aspects.
What if you need something from AWS or Azure – or traditional ‘on-premise’ technologies?
A cloud first policy is simply a guidance to internal business units and decision makers, assisting their understanding of the company’s preferred strategic direction and partnerships. However, our policy clearly states that cloud and the vendor of choice is a ‘first port of call’. CJC have since 2011 leveraged AWS and Azure. We also encourage that our teams investigate these alongside the vendor of choice and report back.
Although the cloud is quickly ruling out multicast issues and reducing latency via high quality fibre links and co-location – CJC have many latency centric clients. We will always support clients wherever they need us on whatever technology they leverage. We will look to work with firms and bring in the benefits of cloud, until the point that the cloud
What are the benefits of a cloud first policy?
For CJC this was a big catalyst in the company-side understanding and support of the cloud. Having the business get behind cloud, enabled decision makers to widen their scope and experience. We have found that the cloud is truly an area of solutions and enablement. There is an ever-decreasing number of capabilities that the cloud cannot provide a solution for.
Indeed, if you are working with a vendor who says “you can’t do this in cloud” – perhaps you should get a second opinion from CJC.