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STARR INSIGHTS: TRADING SYSTEMS BEYOND CLOUD.

By Elliot Parfitt

Welcome to the latest article in the Harrington Starr Insights from the Change & Transformation team. We have discussed previously the increasing prevalence of cloud / SaaS solutions and the vast amount of work that has been put in from a product perspective over recent years to aid the transition away from deployed / installed systems.

This change has occurred relatively rapidly which leads me to question what the next paradigm shift will look like, what technologies will come to the fore and for what reason.

Now that an ever increasing number of platforms are web-based and have data hosted externally, is there a way to predict how systems of the future will look? Mobile and App based systems have inherent security risks but in terms of institutional trading platforms, the level of accessibility and flexibility offered by mobile apps may well prevail.

In an effort to reduce lag in the distributed processing space, there are a number of examples of de-centralised / multi-localised solutions that aim to leverage spare processing power in multiple locations rather than relying on huge ‘out-of-town’ data centres. Potentially here lies an opportunity for large financial institutions to become providers by taking on processing work and even platform hosting for smaller firms who require the leverage of greater power but do not have the infrastructure to support their needs.

A further extension of this could see organisations with large amounts of computing power offering to act as a local equivalent of AWS for smaller vendor organisations. Although, it seems unlikely that many would be able to compete on price or service with AWS / Azure and the like.

To examine a slightly different angle, the rise of ‘intelligent’ assistants (Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etc.) could yield an interesting direction for the trading systems world. Perhaps a future exists whereby employees’ own personal assistants acquire and learn about the job they are ‘assisting’ with and build to a point where there is a truly collaborative machine / human combination. While Google has dominated the web-based customer intelligence part of the western world, there are surely many opportunities out there in a variety of fields for specialist AI software to construct behaviour, market & information driven advice. Could this provide the much sought after edge to the future of the trading markets?

As always we welcome your thoughts, comments and opinions so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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