Waters Rankings 2017: Best Cloud Infrastructure Provider—Amazon Web Services

AWS, the new winner for Best Cloud Infrastructure Provider, says companies want to scale operations without replacing legacy systems.

scott mullins amazon web services aws
Scott Mullins, AWS

As the winner of the best cloud infrastructure category at this year’s Waters Rankings, Amazon Web Services (AWS) wrests the crown away from last year’s victor, Eze Castle Integration, which had won for the previous two years.

AWS becomes the third company to win this category, notorious for its tough competition, as more financial services companies seek to scale their operations without having to deal with the cost of replacing their aging infrastructure.

Scott Mullins, head of worldwide financial services business development at AWS, says the AWS cloud infrastructure brings with it the speed the financial industry needs for development and scalability, while avoiding capital expenditure on hardware procurement.

“For decades, financial services organizations have been utilizing high-performance computing to determine capital requirements and positions, model risk scenarios and price products, among other business requirements,” Mullins says. “By moving to the cloud, operational tasks are simplified because organizations can fully automate provisioning and scaling through code.”

AWS believes that its security, data storage and recovery solutions are aspects of its service offering that differentiate it from rivals in this space, which include titans such as Microsoft, Google and IBM. It boasts broad security accreditations, data encryption while both at-rest and in-transit, and robust hardware security models. It also has regulatory compliance features that allow financial services firms to audit and manage requests quickly.

As an example of the applications that can be run through AWS with relatively little expenditure compared to using in-house infrastructure, Mullins says the company is working with its capital markets customers on analytics for Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review calculations, requirements stemming from the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book, and Solvency II regulations. 

In the past few months, it has added AWS Lambda to its Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance report. Lambda allows clients to automatically run code in response to events without having to provision new servers, as part of the provider’s serverless compute concept. Mullins says additional upgrades will likely be around meeting clients’ compliance obligations and opportunities around the data they generate.

“Financial companies are also laser-focused on the opportunities data is creating. However, leveraging data effectively requires resources that many organizations cannot afford or accommodate—the speed, capacity, and tools to properly collect, process, warehouse, analyze, and store available data,” Mullins says.

In addition to more data storage and processing capabilities, AWS is also hoping to offer more access to Amazon’s artificial-intelligence and machine-learning tools, along with distributed-ledger technologies.

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