The Trading Floor of the Future
By Craig Campestre, Chief Revenue Officer, IPC
It’s often near-impossible to truly see and understand change at the same time as we are living through it. The past year has seen tremendous changes to the way that we work, propelled by an external driver that our modern economy had never before faced on such a scale. As the world slowly begins to contemplate the ways in which we will continue to live and work, post-Covid, we also now have a chance to take the best of what we’ve experienced in the past year of remote working, and to create a new normal and a new paradigm of work-life balance. For employers, this could mean developing distributed hub-and-spoke offices as well as putting in place the infrastructure for individuals to work on a longer-term basis from remote locations. For employers who are also members of the financial services community, this challenge is further compounded by the need for security, reliability, resilience, and the ability to demonstrate compliance with exacting regulatory requirements.
Flexibility in a time of uncertainty
Even for large institutions, the balance between flexibility, security, reliability and scalability can seem like an unattainable nirvana. Many firms are still experiencing significant pressure on costs and resources. There remains considerable uncertainty around what the future will bring: will we move towards a steady state split between homes and offices? Will some employees work remotely on a permanent basis? Are there future potential scenarios in which remote working will be required at scale? These questions remain unanswered yet are fundamental to the choices that firms make in their vendor selections now.
The good news is that many of the ingredients needed to address these challenges already exist. For most trading firms, it’s a question of finding them and combining them in the way that is the right fit for their specific needs. Over the past decade, we’ve seen paradigm shifts not only in technology itself, but also in the way that technology services are provided. The shift towards a subscription economy, when combined with the power of the cloud, has enabled us to create solutions that combine flexibility with reliability, and scalability with certainty. The benefits can be felt by firms of all sizes; with scale eliminated as a barrier, any firm – be it large or small, newcomer or incumbent – can now access the same state-of-the-art tech as their competitors.
What’s more, consuming technology services on a subscription provides all the other well-proven benefits of software-as-a-service. As any challenger knows well, adopting a cloud-native environment gives subscribers comfort that they need only pay for what they need, but can also expand and consume more as they grow. It’s also about the futureproofing and reassurance provided by evergreen technology that’s seamlessly updated and upgraded in the background, with new delivery channels, access mechanisms and markets added and available on-demand.
A trading environment for now and the future
For trading firms, the ability to trade anytime, anywhere, from any device – in a secure and compliant manner – is an enormous competitive benefit in an uncertain and ever-shifting environment. Let’s take the example of a firm that needs to trade across multiple time zones and locations, and access a diverse set of counterparties, requiring them to find a solution provider that offers total global flexibility. Furthermore, they want a software trading solution that can switch seamlessly between a turret on the trading floor and a soft client on a mobile or desktop device. Additionally, the firm has an obligation to record regulated users whilst using their existing internal communications channels to enable enhanced communication between support functions and the trading floor. Finally, if a newly established financial services firm, they need to find a provider who can offer the latest, most efficient and most affordable technology capable of scaling with the firm’s expansion.
And there’s another consideration for our hypothetical trading firm. Based on the experiences of the past year, they are now very much aware of the importance of resilience for their firm -resilience both now and in the face of future, unknown events and challenges. They want a solution that offers an element of futureproofing, enabling them to adapt and maintain their competitive edge no matter what may come their way. This means that they expect a higher standard from their infrastructure provider, with tech that is constantly evolving, being updated and upgraded behind the scenes in a manner that is seamless and transparent to them.
Supporting the journey into tomorrow
At IPC, we understand that, in this brave new workplace and trading environment of the future, the only certainty is that there will be change. Our clients need a provider who anticipates their needs, supports their growth and can pivot in the directions their businesses need to travel. Products including our Connexus Unigy1, Connexus WAN2 and Unigy Soft client3 solutions are developed to address the needs of constantly evolving financial markets and their participants.
Our customer-focussed culture means that we are continuously seeking opportunities to improve our offerings. We recognize the importance our clients place on market access and speed to market. We combine the power of a subscription-based, evergreen model with an ever-growing and evolving networked community of global financial markets participants to create a powerful and market-leading value proposition for our clients.
1Connexus Unigy® is a cloud solution that powers the dealer board, taking the back room to the cloud data center. It is a dedicated private cloud delivery of the industry’s leading platform, facilitating fully compliant trader and regulated user communications, enterprise ecosystem integration, and flexible high touch and low touch enablement
2Connexus WAN provides the benefits of a secure private network in conjunction with a cloud-based trading communications platform
3Unigy Soft Client enables secure remote access via an employer-provided VPN, extending the full functionality of the industry-leading Touch Turret to a range of remote devices, so that traders and other employees can have the same experience virtually at home as they do physically in the office. The integrated solution provides clients the option to use either turrets or soft clients as required.