Legacy systems continue to dominate core business processes at many investment firms. Valuable data for analysis is sitting inside various operational systems, the data for which may not be easily accessible for deep insights.
How can investment firms adopt modern technology for BI while continuing to work on the roadmap for digital transformation to the modern architecture?
Use of ‘Big-Bang’ approach for the transition is not preferable given the potentially longer timeline for the transition and the cost in the short-term.
An approach for migration to the target architecture can include the following key points:
1. Establish private-secure tunnel to the cloud with on-premise or private data center
– Newer systems who need access to legacy systems will need to go through the secure tunnel for data access
2. All data access to legacy stems will be through the use of microservices’ and secure APIs’
3. Domain specific data model for the data to be captured in the ‘cloud warehouse’ needs to be completed before we push data to the warehouse
– Domain experts along with data modelers with experience in the investment space would be a key consideration for success
4. Use ‘cloud’ warehouse database, i.e. Snowflake/AWS Redshift to store large data sets for analysis
5. Cloud provider services such as load balancers, container services, etc. will enable smooth integration of the microservices with the BI tools, thus enabling faster time to market. Providers can be AWS, Azure and/or Google Cloud.
6. Finally, BI tools such as Tableau/Microstrategy/QuickSight/Power BI can be the front end analysis tool that allows visualizations for deeper insights
An architectural framework that not only enables all the above to better manage services but also allows for scaling up/down as and when needed is an important factor when using the cloud.
From a firm perspective, this target architecture will allow for ‘Pay Per Use’ business model to gain operational ‘alpha’ – a key competitive differentiator in the long run for investment firms.