Celebrating historic roots, State Street endorses cloud for business- Valutrics

Eying public cloud for business

State Street’s roots may be in the 18th century, but the economics and technology it’s espousing are becoming hallmarks of the 21st. Companies today are undergoing digital transformation, a shift to digital technologies as well as a wholescale remodeling of business. And cloud computing is widely recognized as having the power and scale to help companies capitalize on those new tools.

State Street built its own private cloud infrastructure several years ago and is now evaluating public cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, IBM and Oracle to fuel new tech initiatives, part of a huge digital push.

By plugging into the public cloud for business, State Street can have access to enormous computing, storage and networking power and can dial it up or down according to business demand, Maiuri said. And for projects drawing on vast pools of data from an array of sources, “you just need a lot of horsepower.”

The bank is harnessing that horsepower to do new things. For example, it’s piloting a new mobile app called Pharos, which uses a machine learning algorithm to ingest information — news articles, earnings reports and such — and then makes connections to an investor’s portfolio, indicating how it might be affected by updates.

Developing the app was “cheap and fast,” Maiuri said. It was first built on Amazon Web Services and then brought back in-house to State Street’s private cloud, where the data is cordoned off. This is important, Maiuri explained, because the app will be sifting through highly sensitive information.

“We want to be careful. We’re bringing client portfolio data — these are hedge funds that are very secretive about their position,” Maiuri said. “So there’s a lot of reasons for it.”