The Industry Cloud Revolution (Part 1): The Future of Investment Management is Here

July 11, 2022
Jack Lynch, Head of Strategy
 min read

This is part one of a series. Here, I explain why Ridgeline is committed to the industry cloud future for investment management. In the second part of this series, I’ll explain how we’re doing it.

If you look on our website’s homepage, the first words you see are “The industry cloud platform for investment management.” Notice that we say “the” not “a” - Ridgeline is the cloud-native, end-to-end technology solution for an entire industry. We’ve staked our future around that statement because we believe three things about the direction of modern business technology to be true:

  1. That the future of enterprise B2B SaaS is industry-specific.
  2. That the next generation of enterprise SaaS companies will dedicate themselves to specific verticals.
  3. A once-in-a generation opportunity exists to help entire industries digitally transform; we call this the Industry Cloud Revolution. 

An industry cloud is a purpose-built system made to support the operational needs of a single, sophisticated industry. These systems speak the native language of their users fluently. Data models are crafted for the industry’s exact needs, user experiences are designed for domain-specific workflows, and all core applications work in harmony across a common architecture. An industry cloud aspires to not only become the primary system of record, but offers the modern tools to turn that data into rich insights that drive better decision-making. It’s a movement being embraced by a wide swath of verticals, from finance to healthcare to agriculture; recent analysis identifies industry clouds as having a $640B potential market.(1)

At Ridgeline, we've dedicated ourselves to serving investment management. Though we will expand our market over time, our early customers are active buy-side investment firms. They manage their clients’ assets with sophisticated investing strategies designed to outperform and they take great pride in their strong client relationships. 

But today’s investment management firms are under pressure. Margins are shrinking, investor preferences are changing, and the uncertainty in the regulatory environment is increasing. Maintaining the operating infrastructure to drive the investment lifecycle is a distraction from core business activities. Managers frequently tell us they’d prefer to spend their time on honing their competitively differentiating approach to investing and deepening relationships with their clients. While they'd rather focus on these proven growth vehicles, they're held back by legacy investment systems that aren't keeping up with today’s challenges. 

The problem is that in order to serve their investors effectively, they've been forced to stitch together a cacophony of systems, tools, and data sources from trading platforms to CRM to compliance systems. Most managers we've spoken to have over 15 systems, most from separate vendors using different technology. Some are on-premise, some are hosted in the cloud, and all are on different versions with batch-based integration attempting to deliver  cross application workflows powered by the same data. 

Even systems from the same vendor marketed as a "suite" don't always work well together. Upgrades are painful interruptions that come with down-time risks, integrations break and need to be re-built, and they often occur only once every few years. Plus, all this pain doesn’t come for free: firms are expected to pay annual licensing fee increases, yet wait years to receive incremental value from their existing vendors.

The Path Forward

The path forward requires a clean sheet. There are no shortcuts, and, as with most things in life, to do this the right way we have to start with the hardest problems. Together with our early adopter customers, we have forged our vision for Ridgeline as the industry cloud platform for investment management. As we work alongside the industry, we're ever bullish about what the future has in store. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Ridgeline’s platform is solving problems for our customers in the investment management industry, please send us an email:

1 Campbell, Brian et al. (2021, November 23). “Reimagining digital transformation with industry clouds.” Retrieved June 2022.

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