Case Studies

Simplicity and Speediness of Development on Google Cloud for Clients

Nomura Holdings has led the Japanese securities markets since its inception in 1925.

The necessity of digitization led them to set up an inter-departmental “Future Company Development department”. The department is developing an app called “FINTOS!”, which aims to provide helpful investment information for consumers with the motto “hints for investing”. We asked them about their experience in implementing Google Cloud for this app, as well as any struggles they had.

A decision to have a speedy development, and to build on Cloud technology.

“FINTOS!” is being built on an existing structure, as the company had placed special importance since establishment on the market reports being provided by the app. To make the app more responsive, we had to make some adjustments and lightened the app’s presence. However, as we are a financial firm that handles sensitive customer information, we had some reservations about building and operating a system on the Cloud. We decided to accumulate knowledge on Google Cloud as a company and set rules first.

Decision for Google Cloud as a result of pursuing simplicity for the user

We had to make sure that the user could easily read the content, and for the user to easily extract information from the app. In addition, we believed that we could improve the service by analyzing users with BigQuery, as well as quickly and efficiently developing by natively developing on Google Cloud.

Big transition to compliance to governance

(Mr. Fujii)

Our first idea was to have an information board for users, and planned on going full cloud and serverless using App Engine. However, as this would have made us an investment advisory business under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, we would have been required to build the necessary security and systems.

(Mr. Kanetani)

Due to this, we decided to pivot towards a governance structure by altering the initial architecture. We decided to replace Google App Engine with Kubernetes Engine (GKE), and installed VPC Service Controls and VPC Firewall for security. There were concerns that re-architecting was risky, so VPC Service Controls and Google Cloud Product were very useful in that we didn’t need to re-architect.

Grateful for Cloud Ace’s tenacity

(Mr. Fujii)

This was a first for the Future Company Development department. We had to make some big adjustments, and we are very grateful for Cloud Ace’s tenacity. We had to change our development methods and transition to remote work due to the COVID pandemic, but we were able to overcome it by having close communication. We are very grateful for the periodic check-ins they did with us. Their engineers were very helpful during issues, and their management assisted by assigning the necessary people for projects. These led to us fostering a deep and trusting relationship.

Continue improving the service

(Mr. Ikeda)

The launch of this service is only the beginning. The Future Company Development department aims to build a financial service that can act as a digital financial advisor, where customers can do everything online. This launch was the first big step towards achieving this goal. I think that developing quickly through updates while taking in user feedback is something special to the cloud. We would like to keep developing the service so it can assist investors even further, and continue to expand the service’s possibilities.