AFTAs 2020: Best Cloud Initiative—DBS Bank


Banks have begun to shift their perception of migrating workloads and applications to the cloud. But concern over data latency and volumes linger, especially when it comes to streaming market data using the public cloud. Those concerns didn’t stop Singapore’s DBS Bank from taking the step forward, leading to it win this year’s best cloud initiative. 

In 2019, the bank had had enough of the traditional model, which dictated that real-time delivery of market data requires dedicated, on-premise telecommunications infrastructure.

DBS is now the first financial services firm in Asia to use consolidator data feeds in the cloud. Together with interdealer broker Tradition, it developed cloud-based delivery of its data feed via the AWS Cloud into its legacy distribution system. This resulted in its clients benefitting from cost reduction of over 50% in operational costs. 

Puay Hwa Ling, head of investment and trading technology, technology and operations at DBS, says the motivation to move to the cloud was partly driven by the bank’s market data clients. “Many companies have been exploring historical datasets and data analytics in public cloud, but not real-time processing or streaming data delivery. We wanted to be ahead of the curve on this,” she says. 

Ling says DBS measured and compared latencies internally and saw it was within its tolerance for enterprise delivery. “Data volumes per connection were significantly lower, but again well within our operational requirements and scalable by increasing connections,” she says. 

Looking ahead, Jimmy Ng, group chief information officer and head of group technology and operations at DBS, says the bank is decoupling applications from its infrastructure stack and accelerating containerization as it moves into a hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure. This will allow DBS to tap into the public cloud to build applications and reduce structural infrastructure costs. “We plan to advance our public cloud journey in a safe and secure manner, aiming to discontinue the traditional delivery model in 2021 and have our market data applications be 100% ‘public-cloud powered,’” he says. 

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