IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics, and expertise to forge solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics, and solutions to customers in business, finance, and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.
The company holds the AWS Financial Services Competency.
Like all companies with customers in the financial services industry, IHS Markit is operating in a fast-changing environment. “It is an unprecedented time in financial services. The speed of change seems to be accelerating all the time and we are constantly being asked to do more with less,” says Andrew Eisen, managing director, global head of cloud strategy and hosting services, at IHS Markit. The company also wants to deliver new features and services to its financial services customers more rapidly. “Time-to-market and the ability to execute flawlessly are top priorities for us. Having an elastic, scalable, and reliable cloud platform is of paramount importance,” Eisen says.
Additionally, IHS Markit seeks to serve its customers while reducing operational risk. “We are committed to executing against the service-level agreements we’ve made with our customers without doing anything that could risk data loss,” says Eisen. The company also needs to meet its customers’ needs for managing mission-critical financial services applications. “Our banking customers increasingly have to manage very complex applications, but they don’t want to use their resources on day-to-day platform management. They also need to meet evolving regulatory compliance obligations and expect us to help.” For all these reasons, IHS Markit is embracing the cloud.
IHS Markit evaluated Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other prominent cloud providers. “AWS is, in our opinion, the market leader in cloud technology. It meets all our needs in terms scalability, affordability, security, and its track record of successful implementations,” says Eisen. “Using AWS, we have the ability to instantly deploy a standardized security model with the encryption and key management services that our global financial customers need, which is a big advantage. It gives our security and compliance teams peace of mind.”
Once it decided on AWS, IHS Markit deployed several existing applications on the AWS Cloud, starting with Markit Enterprise Data Management (EDM), a software platform that enables firms to acquire, validate, and distribute different types of data. “EDM is a hub that financial services organizations can use to manage their data,” Eisen says. The platform takes advantage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) on-demand instances, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS CloudFormation for standardizing environments via templates. “AWS CloudFormation gives us an automated way of getting EDM up and running quickly for clients.” The company is also using AWS services such as Amazon Redshift and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) in support of its research and development initiatives.
Several months after launching its financial services solutions on AWS, IHS Markit became a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN) Program. As an APN Technology Partner, the company receives additional technical support and guidance from AWS.
By hosting client EDM application deployments and other solutions on the AWS Cloud, IHS Markit can devote more time to further developing its software products and managed services. “Relying on AWS to run our applications, we can focus on our core business, which in the case of EDM means providing data management solutions with managed services on top of them,” Eisen says. The company can also meet its customers’ compliance requirements more easily. “We find the AWS Cloud’s comprehensive security features and certifications exceed our customers’ baseline security and compliance needs.”
IHS Markit is also able to quickly deliver new products and features to customers by using AWS. “With AWS, our time-to-market is very short,” Eisen says. “Our very first client was in production on the AWS Cloud within a week of launching our hosted solution. That’s because AWS gives us the ability to use scripts and APIs to build production environments for our customers. Using CloudFormation templates, we can set up a new customer environment in hours. We don’t need to allocate an environment, get network administrators involved, and procure hardware.”
The organization is also driving new business growth because of the agility of the AWS Cloud. “Since we began working with AWS, approximately 30 percent of our new EDM business has been enabled by the AWS Cloud,” says Eisen. “This is because environments are available to us and our clients on demand—we don’t need to spend time purchasing and standing up data center infrastructure. We can be dynamic and responsive because of AWS, and we can differentiate our business in the financial services industry as a result.”
New clients that have benefited from IHS Markit’s relationship with AWS include Westwood, an investment management firm, which has implemented the Markit EDM managed service. “Recent growth and regulatory demands, like cybersecurity, led Westwood to pursue solutions to ensure data quality, create an agile data hub to support growth and maintain regulatory compliance,” said Fabian Gómez, CIO, Westwood. “As we have expanded into emerging markets and global convertible bonds, we sought a partner in this space to support our development and manage our key data needs. The Markit EDM hosted solution, which is implemented on the AWS Cloud, provides quality, timeliness, scalability and security as we continue to grow.”
IHS Markit also plans to further differentiate its business by deepening its relationship with AWS. “We are getting a lot of technical and business support from being in the APN program,” says Eisen. “That will help us to stay ahead of the curve and to continue to differentiate ourselves from other companies in our space. Specifically, we are excited about the opportunities we see in things like grid computing, capital allocation modeling, and value-at-risk services. These are all compute-heavy applications that we plan to develop more quickly because of our relationship with AWS. The future looks very exciting for us, and we believe using AWS will help us drive new business and more success.”
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