Time In A Bottle

Pivotal changes happening for data utilities, cloud resources and compliance

michael-shashoua-waters

The past month's data management developments, reported in the October issue of Inside Reference Data, include some big news concerning a reference data utility that had been a long time in the making, possibilities for innovation in tying together cloud resources with data operations services that may take more time to plan and implement, and finally, impending regulatory compliance demands, for which it may be questionable whether the industry is prepared.

Our top story, "SmartStream, Backers Formally Launch SPReD," builds on last month's top story, "SPReD Utility Primed to Focus on Operations," which clarified the nature of the new Securities Product Reference Data (SPReD) platform as an operations effort, not intended to undercut data providers. SPReD's backers and designers were keen on making this distinction, even before all the contracts had been signed for its creation and launch, and details announced.

Philippe Chambadal, CEO of SmartStream, whose Reference Data Utility serves as the foundation of SPReD, had for years envisioned applying a shared service model to functions including cross-referencing and enriching data. The trick to making this a shared service, however, is participation from heavyweight users, which is now confirmed. The participation of JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs means the service must meet those firms' demands for data quality and accurate, efficient processing. Meeting such standards should make SPReD attractive to other firms of the same scale as its backers, as well as user firms of all sizes.

Just as SPReD has been several years in the making, cloud computing has been around for even longer, and applied in the financial services industry for years as well. In "Data's Clouded Horizons," Joanna Wright looks at "Data-as-a-Service" (DaaS), a newer concept for applying cloud resources to data management. DaaS means adding data to the cloud to put into processing software hosted in the cloud, as Rimes Technologies' Steve Cheng explains.

Although DaaS raises concerns about various national regulations limiting the transfer of data out of the market where it originated and about the security of valuable information in the cloud, the benefits of being able to manage and process data more efficiently with this method outweigh those concerns enough to get traction for its adoption.

Finally, in our coverage of MiFIR (Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation) and BCBS 239 principles as part of risk data aggregation efforts, we find a contrast in industry readiness. BCBS 239 compliance, more imminent, in a matter of months, still poses a lot of challenges that need to be addressed. On the other hand, MiFIR, and its related MiFID II directive, still allows the industry until 2017, but GoldenSource's Neill Vanlint says even further changes still expected from the European Commission are unlikely to make the requirements tougher to address.

No matter how all these developments and issues change or progress over time, many or all of them are at key milestones or turning points right now, as you'll find in these stories.

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