Preceded by a year focused on innovation, 2015 is set to become a year of self-improvement in the financial markets community—in ways that should sound familiar to commercial bankers.
For example, a new survey, conducted by IPC Systems Inc., shows that traders and IT decision makers are increasing their reliance on cloud computing and managed services in order to streamline their processes and improve their bottom line.
In a clear continuation of an ongoing trend, according to the surveys from 2014 and 2015, network infrastructure and services were the top spending focus for the second year in a row, with 40% of respondents indicating this category as a priority.
In combination with the priority on technology for traders, the trading desk, and the trading floor, this suggests that after dedicating 2014 to enhancing their capabilities via innovation, firms are now focused on tapping the full potential of their infrastructure.
The increased deployment of cloud computing (31%) and managed services (45%) strongly suggests that firms are taking a shortcut to this goal by tapping the expertise of dedicated external professionals, thereby enabling firms to focus on their core competencies.
"Market participants increasingly require sophisticated network technology to adapt to changes in the regulatory environment, market structure, and business models," says David Brown, senior vice- president and managing director, Financial Markets Network, IPC. "A managed network-as-a-service solution allows trading firms to rapidly access a ready-made ecosystem of counterparties and cost- effectively execute complex strategies."
IT and the trading world
Additional key findings of this year's survey include:
• 46% of participants said their primary driver for technology investments were improved efficiency and cost effectiveness.
• 64% of respondents are implementing or plan to implement cloud computing technology in the coming year.
• 63% of respondents are currently using or have plans to use managed services to support their technology infrastructure.
The research covered a broad range of roles for staff supporting the full trading lifecycle from order initiation and execution to clearing and settlement. Respondents came from the front, middle, and back office and included people involved in both the business and technology side of trading support.
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