The Destination

    The Cloud and the new set of software development methodologies that have arisen to take advantage of its features have changed the way we develop, deliver and consume software forever. The consensus amongst industry analysts is that most firms, including financial services, will have a substantial cloud presence in the next five years. The most aggressive predictions are that private data centers go away soon after.

    Migrating to the cloud enables you to drastically:

    • Cut costs
    • Improve Time to Market
    • Reduce Risk

    Virtualization

    • Improve hardware utilization
    • Reduce provision cycle
    • Reduce maintenance costs

    Private Cloud

    • Improve time to market
    • Reduce release risk
    • Reduce operational costs

    Hybrid/Public

    • Unlimited elasticity
    • Pay-per use
    • Drastically reduced operational costs

    The Challenge

    The Financial Services Industry stands to reap enormous benefits from these changes, but it has some very substantial hurdles to overcome.

    Existing Investment

    Most companies sit on an enormous investment in currently working technology that is not necessarily easily moved to the cloud: this includes anything from data centers to mainframe software. This is a variant of the Incumbent Curse and equally anecdotal. Change can happen but might need to happen incrementally.

    Regulation and Security

    The industry operates in a complicated and ever-changing maze of regulatory requirements that restrict the movement, location and access of data. This problem is compounded by the fact that the industry is always the target of malicious attempts to infiltrate its software. To combat that threat, organizations have put in place powerful security processes which are not frequently amenable to the new paradigms.

    Cultural Change

    Disruptive changes are difficult to make incrementally. In order to capture the value of the cloud, all the following need to change: skill sets, team composition and responsibilities, processes, software investments in infrastructure (e.g. backups, logging, authentication, …).

    The Journey

    No Magic Carpet

    If you have a very complex infrastructure, there is no single tool or company that will be able to deliver you to your destination. The solution will involve orchestrating multiple services, partners and tools.

    We can help you make sense of the categories of problems and help you to deliver a solution that is composed of many components, but does not exhibit the seams. We can help you cross the chasm with a series of small leaps. We do this by partnering with you as well as third parties and pulling best of breed tools into a coherent solution.

    The Offering

    We focus on the main benefits that the Cloud offers: the change in the software development lifecycle. We start by putting together an approach and tool chain that allows you to reliably develop, deploy and promote software. This creates a façade that allows the deployment across any Cloud venue.

    Hybrid Cloud

    It is unlikely that you will be able to embrace a single Cloud strategy. However, a Hybrid Cloud strategy is very appealing because it:

    • Allows for moving Dev to a Public Cloud while keeping the higher environments with secure data on a Private Cloud
    • Enables burst capacity: leverage the investment in existing hardware but also leverage the elasticity of the Public Cloud
    • Preserves independence of Cloud providers
    • Takes advantage of the different strengths that different clouds exhibit

    The Applications

    Applications at the enterprise, whether internally- or externally-developed vary widely in their cloud readiness. This calls for a variety of migration strategies, each of which is tailored to a different set of requirements.

    Virtually all applications can benefit from automation of their SDLC and deployment, whether these applications live on virtual or actual hardware. Bare-metal provisioning and orchestration components such as Satellite or Cobbler work well at tying together physical and virtual components.

    Commercial off the shelf applications (COTS) vary widely in their cloud readiness. Though many vendors are providing cloud support and containerization strategies for their products, this is not yet the norm.

    Internally-developed and Open Source products can benefit the most from the transformation, as the lifecycle and deployment of these components can be fully orchestrated.

    Why Risk Focus

    Approach

    Small teams

    Our optimal team size on any project is 3-5 people. We believe that teams larger than that lose productivity and focus. Inevitably, they require more management and reporting and the focus shifts away from our goal: delivery.

    Hands on

    Small teams work only if they are hands-on. Our team members will have a lead and/or manager as well as potentially architects, but they are always immersed and practical.

    Your Partners

    We look to complement your strategy and aid transformation, not hoard the knowledge. The only way your organization will succeed is if you own its transformation. We pride ourselves on repeat, not unfinished, business.

    Iterative & Tangible

    We structure engagements in a series of 4-6 week iterations. At the end of each iteration we will deliver something tangible: it may be a demo, a POC implementation or a production candidate. The scope will determine the level of the completeness, but you will always have something to see.

    Pedigree

    Just our management team has over a century of Capital Markets experience and we have deep expertise in Cloud technologies. That expertise spans from building Private Clouds before there were commercial options to leveraging AWS to process billions of transactions a day. We are instrumental in the technology strategies of some very large institutions and have been recognized as one of the most promising Cloud enablement companies.

    Technologies

    We strongly feel that there is no single cloud solution that solves all use cases, and believe that a componentized architecture is most adaptable to the varied needs of our clients. We focus on a number of key technologies, but always give the client a choice of features versus costs.

    Ops/DevOps SDLC/DevOps
    Monitoring ELKSplunkDatadogStackDriver ELKSplunkJenkins
    Automation AnsibleSaltStack JenkinsAtlassian
    Testing Apache JMeterJenkins SeleniumServerSpecRSpec
    Cloud Amazon Web ServicesOpenStackAzure – –
    Orchestration Ansible TowerOpenShiftCloudify JenkinsJira

    Partners

    We have the great fortune to partner with some wonderful companies to support key elements of delivered solutions. These partners include Splunk, Gigaspaces (Cloudify), Redhat, and Rackspace.

    Demos

    To schedule a conversation or demo of what Risk Focus can do for you, contact sales@riskfocus.com

    vassil

    Vassil Avramov

    Founder and CTO

    Vassil is the Founder, President and CTO of Risk Focus. Vassil started his career in Silicon Valley with one of the pioneers of handwriting recognition. He moved into FinTech as a developer, before moving into client management with a risk software vendor.

    Under his direction, Risk Focus teams have built trade, risk management and connectivity platforms for some of the largest banks, hedge funds and clearing houses. His clients prize his combination of business domain knowledge and technology acumen. He recently advised one of the top derivatives exchanges on bringing its risk computation and data analytics into the 21st century, and is currently advising a major bank on building a Private Cloud, as well as others on Dodd-Frank regulatory trade reporting and validation.