FinTech and Blockchain: Where Silicon Alley meets Hyperconverged Infrastructure

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Observations from Empire FinTech Week

Kevin Lash, Head of Financial Services

Industry SolutionsYou may not have heard of the term Silicon Alley, but I am sure you are aware of the game-changing financial technology (FinTech) that is emanating from it. “Silicon Alley” was initially coined in the mid-1990s as a way to group media startups housed around the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan. I hope that doesn’t give you bubble flashbacks because now this same location is a hot bed of investment into FinTech and Blockchain acceleration that is driving financial digital transformation and touching most every line-of-business.

A number of these emerging solutions were showcased during the recent Empire FinTech Week events in NYC. This included an in-depth roundtable discussion sponsored by Nutanix that brought together FinTech providers and Financial Institutions (FIs) to explore the challenges in developing, integrating and rolling these solutions out to global markets.

The Future of Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley are Intertwined with Financial Institutions

Partnerships between Financial Institutions and FinTech players are rapidly on the rise. FinTech companies need to capture ready-made customers and have access to core processing platforms while the FIs need the innovation to spur growth and protect being disintermediated from their franchise. To that end FIs are not only procuring FinTech solutions as they would a traditional vendor but, they are engaging directly with the ecosystem to provide residency, partnership, investment, or outright acquisition.

The natural question is why would Nutanix, a Silicon Valley company, focused on driving large-scale enterprise adoption of HCI and Enterprise Clouds want to put any focus on nascent FinTech and Blockchain startups? One reason is Nutanix is hungry to be an integral participant in innovation and positive disruption as it is happening. This is especially true in the Financial Services Industry which represents one of the fastest growing verticals embracing hyperconvergence and Enterprise Cloud. Secondarily, Nutanix delivers a unique infrastructure platform that provides an optimal, secure and agile environment to iteratively develop and deploy these transformative financial solutions.

FinTech is a Hybrid of On-Premise and Public Cloud Implementation

Resoundingly the implications are that FIs and FinTech players are interdependent in ensuring these solutions are going to be seamlessly adopted by their mutual customers. A successful FinTech solution will need to minimally account for and integrate across these component parts:

  1. User Experience (UX)
  2. API and “middleware”
  3. Data sharing repository
  4. Core processing platform and back-end systems

One of the clear outcomes from the roundtable discussions at FinTech week was the overwhelming concern of FinTech startups that they will become hopelessly bogged down by the FIs legacy infrastructure and arduous testing and implementation methodologies. This has led FinTech providers to advocate for completely utilizing public cloud with a simple API and data sharing agreement in some cases brokered by their cloud provider.

Alternatively, Financial Institutions see the solution as inherently requiring a hybrid and multi-cloud implementation whereby regulatory, privacy, security and reputational risk will demand tighter on-premise controls especially pertaining to data usage. These concerns are only heightened with very public and damaging cases of data misuse and security breaches.

Why Hyperconverged Infrastructure is Compelling for FinTech & Blockchain Implementations

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) can successfully bridge the gap by providing the same speed-to-market, provisioning experience and cost advantages of public cloud with the control and maximum data security of on-premises. Financial Institutions looking to develop, pilot and implement FinTech and Blockchain solutions can build labs and go into production without having to compromise their governance, risk and compliance policies. This hybrid and multi-cloud architecture addresses the concerns of both FinTech startups and Financial Institutions by providing:

Simple 1-click support for provisioning FinTech and Blockchain infrastructure

  1. Enhanced control, security and compliance
  2. Better setup for development, testing and deployments
  3. Application Delivery across multi-cloud environments (public & private)

I encourage you to also reach out to us at or on Twitter @Nutanix if you want to arrange time to discuss the specific requirements of your own institution in supporting these emerging workloads.

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