Synapse is another MSFT bus for GCP and AWS to jump
MSFT have announced Synapse Analytics and I predict that for most FS firms, especially Wealth & Asset Mgrs, it will become yet another MSFT bus that cloud competitors have to jump. AWS & GCP are going to need to deliver new “killer outcomes” rather than “my product is better than yours” to win big.
Most WAM (Wealth and Asset Management) firms are wedded to Excel, which creates a deep and wide moat to Microsoft’s competitive advantage. Bus No 1. The other key tool is email and Outlook is the clear winner in terms of usage and familiarity. Bus No 2. Documents & presentations are prolific, with Word & PowerPoint as the dominant tools. Bus No 3. In a genius move, MSFT have poured effort and focus into O365, which wraps all the above favourite tools and some more into a cloud managed solution. Bus No 4. Teams is bundled / integrated into the above, making it super easy to buy & roll out. Bus No 5. Azure is an excellent collection of cloud products and for many firms then Azure is the default choice Bus no 6. That is already lot of buses to jump.
Synapse Analytics will be another bus, parked next to the existing Azure bus. I know the endjin guys well and follow their excellent blogs and I love their recent description of Synapse as the “Swiss Army Knife” of all the tools you need in one package. It is not that AWS or GCP do not have great tools, which they do, but having a pre-made, easy to use & “oven ready” solution that does most of the stuff well enough is a very large bus to get past. I like football and see Synapse as being like a 6’ 4” defender (not you Mark Blake!) sent on by Mourinho to defend a 2-0 lead in a game that the opposition must win.
In my last blog, I talked about how ESG & Sustainable Investing will create a new “data deluge” that will increase the costs and complexities for how WAM firms manage their data. My conviction is that firms should prioritise “insights over infrastructure”. To be a player and better still a Leader in ESG & Sustainable Investing, then there is a lot of data to sort out…
I am a reluctant runner but a keen cyclist, and thus super focussed on continuously searching for innovative ways to reduce friction. For cyclists, as with software engineers, friction is your enemy. When the engineering team I led fully embraced CI/CD, test automation, Agile ways of working and cloud native products, it completely transformed our ability to deliver results. We lost so much friction. It was liberating and my biggest regret was not doing it earlier and not going even further to drive out more wasteful friction.
In the search to remove friction, let me use a cycling analogy on how “lazy smart” works. The above pic is of myself with my 2 mates – Al on the left, Martyn on the right and myself hiding in the middle. Al is younger, stronger, proudly Welsh, loves a challenge and is also a big fellow. The optimal way for me to remove friction on a long hard ride is to convince Al to take the lead and then sit 6” behind him, whereas doing the same with Martyn yields much lower returns and taking the lead myself is sheer hard work.
The very best engineers I ever worked with were “lazy smart” as they sought to deliver the highest amount of value for the least possible work. That is why Synapse is going to take off as much of that complex but vital scaffolding has been done by Microsoft, thus clearing up more time to be invested in “insights over infrastructure”. Let us see how AWS & GCP respond but that is a lot of buses for them to jump over…
#engineering #azure #ESG #APS #APSBlog