This morning Forbes.com announced that a five-year old company called Xignite provides their real-time stock market quotes via easily integrated widgets.
Whether or not you’re interested in the financial market data industry, this is a case study in how cloud-based information services save costs and deployment time, even as they force raw information to become a commodity.
Google, CNBC, and WSJ pay the NASDAQ a sizable chunk of money for a single cumbersome stream of data. Now, Forbes.com joins the handful of consumer portals offering real-time data–with minimal development costs to integrate the raw NASDAQ or BATS data.
Rapid iteration is a major benefit of cloud-based systems, though forcing further reliance on your partner. Forbes.com simply embeds a widget on any page that needs stock quotes. The Achilles heel is that Forbes must now depend on Xignite for any widget changes. For a large company, this may not always be an easy decision. But for smaller companies, this gives them access to services previously reserved for the big boys.
At the same time, the cost savings of Xignite is only multiplied as traffic increases:
“In the midst of this financial crisis, there is significantly heightened demand for financial data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO of Xignite. “Markets are going up and down by hundreds of points every day and people need real-time data to make sound decisions. Our cloud services platform allowed [Forbes.com] to add BATS Exchange real-time market data to their Web site in just a few days. And now, Forbes.com can quickly adapt to their readers’ needs by dropping widgets anywhere on their Web site in minutes.”
As more and more information streams are provided by cloud-based services, raw information becomes a commodity, forcing companies to find other differentiators. No longer must companies maintain a Google-sized development team to integrate real-time data.