AWS case studies/ Financial services

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Nomura Holdings, Inc. Build a digital
securities sales platform for the
"fusion of people and digital" and implement rapid service delivery.

Nomura Holdings Builds Digital Platform for Sales Partners to "Integrate Human and Digital Resources" for Rapid Service Delivery

2 weeks

Development cycle for functions and services

24 times

Number of updates in 8 months

Approx. 90%.

Customer satisfaction after online consultation

Realization of sales activities that integrate human and digital resources


The Nomura Group is one of the largest financial groups in Japan. Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., a core member of the Nomura Group, is one of the largest securities groups in Japan. Geared toward providing services that utilize digital technology as set forth in its Digital Transformation (DX) strategy, the Nomura Digital Platform (NDP) is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and provides services such as online consultations and NOMURA, an asset management application. The adoption of microservices architecture has improved development flexibility and enabled short-cycle functional enhancements.

Business Issues | Developing a sales environment that integrates human and digital resources

The Nomura Group, operates in 30 countries and regions around the world, providing high value-added products and services to clients in Japan and overseas through cross-functional collaboration among its sales, investment management, wholesale, and other divisions. The Nomura Group is currently promoting the digitization of its services and operations as part of its DX strategy guided by its management vision of "achieving sustainable growth by solving social issues." “The use of cloud computing is one of the key IT initiatives and focus across all areas of the Nomura Group. At the beginning of 2019, when Nomura started using AWS in earnest with the cloud as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which freed up hardware renewal and capacity concerns. System development remained the same as when it was done on-premise, and allowed Nomura to keep pace with new business developments. To stay ahead of the curve, Nomura built Nomura Digital Platform (NDP) in 2020 as a new platform that leverages containers, APIs, and microservices," Ken Yamafuji, General Manager of IT Strategy, Nomura Holdings Group.

Nomura Securities' sales division faced with the challenge of expanding customer contact points while the Internet and smartphones became increasingly popular. Kaori Hanazawa, Manager of the Digital Platform Section of Nomura Securities' Marketing Department, explains, "While our strength lies in our face-to-face sales activities, we cannot effectively conduct sales activities without using digital technology. Therefore, we decided to develop a sales environment that integrates people and digital resources.”

Tomoyuki Sasaki, Manager of IT Strategy Section 2, Retail IT Department, Nomura Securities Co., says,

"In the process of planning and promoting various digital initiatives, the challenge was the existing back-office system. In 2013, the company migrated its core system to 'THE STAR,' an SaaS-type service. ‘THE STAR’ is a shared-use system with functions such as account opening, order and settlement, and daily business reports, and has been adopted by many securities firms.” While it is an inexpensive and highly stable system that is perfect for general securities operations, it was not necessarily flexible enough for us to add our own unique functions. Therefore, we decided to use NDP as a new front-end infrastructure to provide our unique services quickly.”


“We are able to respond to the changing needs of our customers in an agile manner while shortening development cycles and ensuring security, thanks to the infrastructure we built on AWS.”

Kaoru Numata
Executive Officer, Digital Company and Head of Marketing, Sales Division, Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Solution | Adopting microservices to help shorten release times

Nomura Holdings has been using AWS since 2017 and already has more than 170 systems running on AWS within the Group. This is why AWS was also chosen for the NDP project.

Kachiharu Kaji, Manager of the Group Cloud Strategy Section, Group IT Strategy Department, Nomura Holdings, said,

“We chose AWS because of its top market share and its extensive experience with financial institutions. In order to provide stable financial services, we also focused on business continuity and security. Since 2019, we have security rules in place on how to use AWS and have begun full-scale use within the group."

The project to build NDP kicked off in July 2019. After design, construction, and testing, it was released in May 2020.

NDP is a cloud-native architecture that leverages containers, serverless services, and managed services to increase agility, microservices and API integration for groups of functions.

"We adopted microservices to enable rapid releases because of the variety of systems that will be operating on NDP. We also built the system with auto-scaling in mind so that we could secure the necessary IT resources in response to market changes due to the nature of the business of handling stock products," said Sasaki.

The development style has shifted from waterfall to agile, and a new system was established to deploy functions and services in a two-week development cycle.


Results of Introducing NDP|Functionality is updated once every two weeks through agile development

The first services released after the construction of NDP were the "Asset Holdings Report," which follows up on clients' asset balances and trends through online consultations, and "Online Plus," which provides information mainly for high net worth customers of the online service.

“In addition, in April 2021, we began offering online consultation services at a time when in-person follow-up and proposals were difficult due to the Covid-19. Since this is a proposal for a client's valuable assets, we are developing this service on NDP, which is more secure than a typical web conferencing system. This was possible because we had been planning the service before the COVID-19 pandemic, so we were able to provide the service at a time when it was difficult for customers to make contact with us," said Ms. Hanazawa.

The results have been as expected, with approximately 90% of customers responding "satisfied" in a questionnaire survey conducted after each online consultation. Yusuke Takei, a member of the Digital Platform Section of Nomura Securities' Marketing Department, said,

"The quality of the service is as good online as it is in person. We are able to maintain a high level of satisfaction because we are able to provide the same quality of consultation online as we do in person. For our partners (sales staff), it also improves their time efficiency, as they can spend their travel time on customer service.”

In April 2022, the "NOMURA" the smartphone asset management application was released. The application continues to evolve with functional updates released every two weeks.

"The 'NOMURA' application was developed based on interviews with our clients and allows users to collect investment information and manage their assets. Even after its release, we have continued to improve it daily while listening to the opinions of our partners (sales staff), and have already updated it 24 times in eight months," said Takei.

By building NDP using AWS serverless/managed services, development efficiency has improved dramatically, and development know-how has been accumulated within the team. Nomura plan on deploying this know how and achievements across many divisions within the Nomura Group.

“Nomura Securities, which has 5 million online accounts and handles important asset information, has achieved microservices and agile development while ensuring security, which is a great achievement for the group. We intend to leverage this achievement to promote DX in our group companies as well," said Kaji.

In July 2022, another development team released the "Cloud Native Platform" (CNP) as a new front-end platform for the Nomura Group. Compared to NDP, which strictly controls direct access to the internet and access routes for external vendors, CNP is an open environment that facilitates collaboration and cooperation with external vendors. Nomura expect many future services to utilize the cloud and plan to develop them by using the NDP and CNP platforms in the right places and at the right times.

“We believe that without AWS and other cloud services, we would not be able to provide services that change dynamically in response to customer needs. We hope AWS will continue to support us as a business partner to help us meet our challenges," said Yamafuji.

Corporate Profile of Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Established in December 1925 as a spin-off from the Securities Department of Osaka Nomura Bank, Ltd. In 2001, the company transitioned to a holding company and established Nomura Holdings, Inc. Under its umbrella, Nomura Holdings has Nomura Securities, Nomura Asset Management, Nomura Trust & Banking, and other group companies, forming a global network.

Mr. Ken Yamafuji

Mr. Harumasa Kaji

Mr. Tomoharu Sasaki

Ms. Kaori Hanazawa

Mr. Yusuke Takei

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