Morgan Stanley and Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced a strategic cloud partnership aimed at accelerating the firm’s digital transformation and shaping the future of innovation in the financial services industry. The companies will strike a unique collaboration to unlock the opportunities that Microsoft’s cloud provides with a specific view toward the challenges of financial services and enabling Morgan Stanley to accelerate the modernization of its IT environment to enhance client, employee and developer experiences.
The financial services industry faces ever-evolving customer needs, dynamic markets, a complex regulatory landscape and increasing cyberthreats, requiring secure and scalable solutions that will empower businesses and clients to manage complex data tasks, growing risk and rising demand for real-time insights.
By bringing together the world-class engineering power of the Microsoft Azure and Morgan Stanley Technology teams, the partnership will tap into both companies’ deep engineering expertise to solve challenges within the highly regulated financial services industry. Microsoft is providing Morgan Stanley with a secure and compliant platform with data privacy at the center that will fuel the firm’s cloud transformation and scale across natively integrated platforms to dramatically improve developer experience to drive innovation.
As part of the strategic partnership, the companies will focus on the following:
- Developing and co-designing new application infrastructure meeting the key requirements for financial services and informing product innovations including for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, bringing together common data models, cross-cloud connectors, workflows, APIs, and financial industry-specific components and standards.
- Accelerating Morgan Stanley’s digital transformation aligned with the firm’s cloud- first and multi-cloud strategy, resulting in a modern, more flexible and scalable environment with the transition of workloads onto Microsoft Azure; improved employee experience with Microsoft 365 and collaboration tools; higher developer effectiveness and innovation power with cloud-native services; and better service, insights and connectivity to clients.
- Enhancing the employee and developer experience by building innovative solutions with cloud-native services for faster implementation of apps. The companies’ engineers will also collaborate on requirements and capabilities across the latest technology to drive client- and business-centric innovation in financial services in faster and more flexible ways by leveraging Morgan Stanley’s deep engineering and domain expertise.
“This partnership is a natural extension of our longstanding engineering relationship and strong collaborative bond forged in the enterprise space over the past decades,” said Rob Rooney, head of Technology, Operations & Firm Resilience at Morgan Stanley. “As we co-develop to shape the future of the cloud, Morgan Stanley will share its deep domain knowledge and engineering expertise to address the complexities of a global regulated financial industry, and help Microsoft enhance its cloud offering to stay at the forefront of client-centric innovation.”
Morgan Stanley clients, employees and businesses will benefit from this commitment with a deeper breadth of available services based on cloud-native offerings; tooling and resources for developers that enable faster delivery of applications and enhancements, most notably for its clients and 15,000+ financial advisors in wealth management; as well as easier data sharing with institutional clients with offerings such as the Morgan Stanley API portal providing direct connectivity in the cloud.
“As one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, financial services organizations’ journey to the cloud is extremely complex and nuanced,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft. “Bringing together Morgan Stanley’s financial services engineering expertise with Microsoft’s cloud and industry-specific experience, our partnership will empower innovation for the industry while ensuring stringent compliance and regulatory guidelines are met.”
The scope of the partnership between Morgan Stanley and Microsoft extends beyond the cloud. The partnership will also shape the broader Microsoft product offering and create additional collaboration opportunities in the financial services industry focused on the modern workplace and the broader developer experience. Among other aspects, the teams will jointly work on enhancing subsequent adoption of Microsoft GitHub, enabling Morgan Stanley to leverage a comprehensive, fully integrated cloud SaaS-based development environment and DevOps toolchain.