The Era of ETRM in the Cloud

The Era of ETRM in the Cloud

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Commodity Technology Advisory (ComTech) has been tracking the rise of ETRM solutions delivered in the cloud over many years. While the potential benefits and cost savings associated with ETRM in the cloud have always appeared to be robust, uptake across the industry has proven to be quite slow until relatively recently. Although many other industries migrated to the cost efficiencies of the cloud, the energy industry lagged behind. The key concern quoted by the industry was usually data security, despite companies often having back-up and recovery procedures in place that result in trade and position data being stored off-site. Then, commodity prices collapsed generally, led by energy, and costs began to rise inexorably as new regulations progressively came into force. Margins were squeezed and structural changes have occurred across the industry so that profitable trades are a good deal harder to find.

While ETRM and other IT initiatives were put on hold or scaled back to reduce costs, rapid market changes necessitated ETRM functional changes – compelling energy companies to seek more cost effective ways to procure the right ETRM platform. As their ETRM and related solutions have quickly become outdated, these systems are effectively deadweight - holding those businesses back from responding to change and streamlining business processes. In this environment, ETRM in the cloud has become a popular alternative to “traditional” on-premises software given its low cost of entry, potential lower total cost of ownership and promise of cheaper maintenance and upgrades. Confirming this trend, a recent survey conducted by ComTech looking at trends in a lower energy price environment found that around 30% of surveyed European energy traders had an increased urgency to upgrade or replace their current ETRM, and that almost 50% would consider ETRM in the cloud as a way forward.

Latest Publications

2016 – 2021 CTRM Market Outlook

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Commodity Technology Advisory LLC (ComTech), the leading analyst firm covering commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) technology markets, has recently completed its biannual in-depth review of the CTRM software market space in order to compile an estimate of the size of the global CTRM technology market and prepare an outlook for growth across the various component submarkets that comprise it.

Readers of this report should be aware that in the development of this data, as in past years, we must delineate boundaries for the companies and applications reflected in the scope of the analysis.

Purchase the full version 2016 – 2021 CTRM Market Outlook

Risk Monitoring & Management Trends in Commodities

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Commodity producers, traders, and industrial consumers are all facing a barrage of risks such as price exposure and cyber vulnerability, as well as legal, credit, operational and market risks. The risks associated with buying, selling, and moving commodities only seem to be increasing exponentially with greater regulatory oversight and a broadening of supply chain operational issues like traceability. Many of these risks can be business killers – the actions of rogue traders or the impact of counterparty business failures, for example – and lead to fatal damage such as an inability to access capital or damage to brands (via issues around sourcing commodities or producing substandard end-products). Other risks, such as ineffective price risk management, inefficient scheduling of transportation, or regulatory non-compliance can erode profitability and damage the company’s ability to execute on strategic plans and growth initiatives.

Of course, often where there is risk, there is also an opportunity to profit - but only when those risks are recognized, effectively managed, and properly mitigated. The rise in stakeholder scrutiny and regulatory oversight also means that being able to demonstrate effective risk management across the organization is certainly more important today than ever before.

Commodity Technology Advisory LLC (ComTech), with the support of study sponsor Allegro Development Corp., undertook a snapshot survey of the industry to find out more about the types of risks faced by trading companies and to gain an indication of how and where those risks were being managed.

Sourcebook 2017

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The 2017 Commodity Technology Advisory LLC (ComTech) CTRM Software Sourcebook is designed to be a useful and usable resource to help those seeking information as to the capabilities and coverage of products within the CTRM software category. It is a starting point in the product selection process - a mid-level guide to allow the reader to develop a long list of vendors that have high potential capabilities in terms of functional and commodity coverage meet the specific needs of CTRM market participants.

It is NOT intended to be a replacement for a formal selection process - CTRM software is simply too complex to be selected properly without utilizing a programmatic selection process.

Our intention in developing the CTRM Sourcebook is to inform the reader of the wide universe of vendors and products, and allow companies seeking a new system to compile a list of vendors that may include some that might not have otherwise been considered, or that they may not have even previously been aware of.

Trends in Technology

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ComTechAdvisory: What is Contigo seeing in terms of uptake of the ETRM in cloud and what are the benefits of such an approach?

Adrian Bullock: We are seeing strong interest in implementing in the cloud from both small and bigger players. Over 80% of our contracts signed in the last 18 months are implemented in the cloud, we have also migrated a number of our deployed clients to the cloud in the last year.

ComTechAdvisory: What does Contigo see as the main pros and cons of a single tenanted versus multi tenanted approach for ETRM software?

Adrian Bullock: The flexibility we can offer our clients with a single tenanted model greatly outweighs the operational advantages of a multi tenanted architecture. Using a shared infrastructure with a high level of automation of releases and upgrades gives us many of the advantages of a multi tenanted architecture whilst still maintaining the ability to have a high level of customization for each of our clients and ensuring data segregation. We have never had an actual or potential client insist on a multi tenanted model.