IBM used its participation in A-Team Group’s Data Management Summit last week to unveil details of its partnership with GoldenSource to deliver a reference data utility. The partners are running the GoldenSource enterprise data management (EDM) platform in the IBM cloud to provide the utility and are talking to prospective clients that are considering the adoption of data mutualisation.
According to Christopher Rigg, a partner in IBM Global Business Services’ financial services industry business, “Financial institutions must transform and reduce IT costs through outsourcing or mutualisation of non-core processes such as reference data processing. We see clients looking at the concept of mutualisation more than in the past and focussing on what it means to them.”
IBM already operates six utilities, three of which are dedicated to the financial services sector and include Algo Risk Service – an on or off cloud solution developed via its Algorithmics acquisition of a couple of years ago – and Securities Industry Services, a solution that provides brokerage transaction processing to the Canadian securities industry.
Turning its attention to reference data, IBM partnered with GoldenSource last year and has developed IBM GDU (Global Data Utility), an open and independent, multi-tenanted, data-agnostic utility offering flexible data distribution models.
Rigg said: “The utility adds a layer of value on top of a managed service, which is essentially a utility for one. The benefits of a utility in the reference data space include significant cost reductions, shared investment, an optimised cost model and distribution options. Utilities are independent of the data supply chain and are beginning to be adopted by industry.”
Like IBM, GoldenSource – itself once an IBM company – has experience in the provision of utility solutions. HSBC, by way of example, uses the GoldenSource EDM platform as an in-house utility shared by a number of business lines, while the Australian Securities Exchange provides a utility or its markets based on the platform.
Acknowledging the difficulties encountered by previous initiatives to build reference data utilities, Rigg commented: “The blocker was the perception of a utility as being one-size-fits-all. Different parts of the world have different data preferences, so a utility cannot be one size. For example, not all businesses want to fully outsource data management. They need flexibility in the types of data and distribution models they can access, perhaps maintaining their own EDM systems but getting data from market vendors cleansed by the utility.” The partners are also flexible about where the utility is run, with Rigg suggesting it could be run by IBM or by a consortium of banks for the use of its members.