By Michael Asher, president and COO, RFA
Today’s hedge fund firms (especially emerging firms) and their C-suite managers are faced with operational challenges, which, when addressed properly, both protect and propel the enterprise. Mangers are dealing with a “perfect storm” of pressures from technology, regulation, and competition.
As alternative investment enterprises continue to wrestle with these pressures, astute managers recognise interoperability between data, the cloud and cybersecurity. Properly framed the infrastructure question is not: “what is our infrastructure doing?” but: “how can we use our infrastructure to further business growth?” Answering this question accurately results in enterprise success, greater efficiency and productivity, reduced cost, and risk mitigation. Here, data, cloud, and cybersecurity are seen as an organic whole rather than as separate silos.
In today’s complex global environment, that answer resides in a comprehensive service suite rather than a functional/task approach to operations that incorporates:
- Managed data
- Cloud (public/private and agnostic)
- Managed cybersecurity security & compliance
- Managed detection and response
- Managed application
- And IT service management.
This more sophisticated approach is a good start, but needs to be undergirded by service, solutions, and guidance, and support across the board. These translate to a bespoke, consultative approach that anticipates client needs, and relieves them of infrastructure concerns from engineering and design to procurement, to 24/7 global coverage, to cloud services that are agnostic, and confidence around cybersecurity – all based on a fully managed IT service that handles individual technology environments.
Here, firms can drive automation, streamline processes, and increase visibility of their data, always with critical business strategies in mind. Once data is architected properly, cloud can be made to measure solutions that incorporate current systems and practices – creating a layered and secure cloud structure. This implementation can be scaled to manage growth – especially as digitisation is increasing becoming the operational norm.
Finally, cybersecurity services need to keep ahead of the ever growing sophistication of rogue actors, including ransomware. Here, managed detection and response capability, security application management, public cloud security governance and compliance, and vulnerability scanning, and remediation form the basis for managers being able to sleep at night. These capabilities run 24/7/365 and cover all aspects from risk/impact assessment, threat monitoring and alerts, to remediation and scenario construction.
This data, cloud, and cybersecurity capability needs to be available every day, worldwide, around the clock. A particular concern in this regard is to be sure that client service personnel are employees of the infrastructure provider’s firm rather than outsourced to a third party vendor. A continuous watch over clients’ technology infrastructure and providing scheduled maintenance rounds out the complete infrastructure picture.
Which is why, at RFA, we have developed a white glove service that adopts a holistic view of firms’ requirements in data, cloud, and cybersecurity. Our team of former CTOs, CIOs and COOs are among the best trained and most experienced consultants in the financial services IT sector. Our service people are employees of the firm. We develop solutions that cover all tech requirements, designed to work in tandem with one another and work intelligently as a whole. Robust and continuous investment in and commitment to R&D allows us to provide innovations to the entire industry – designed to benefit our clients. The result is a steadfast avoidance of a silo mentality, and understanding of the interdependence of data, cloud, and cybersecurity – philosophically based on a forward thinking and anticipatory approach.