Blog Entries from 11/2011
Earlier this month the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) released updates to its Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing Guide – an extensive guidebook that provides a “practical, actionable road map to managers wanting to adopt the cloud paradigm safely and securely.”
Here at Eze Castle Integration we talk regularly about cloud security and best practices, so I believe it is important to increase awareness of this great resource. The topics covered in this 177-page report revolve around three key areas. Here is a snapshot of the three key sections as defined by the CSA:
1. Cloud Architecture: The Cloud Computing Architectural Framework provides a conceptual framework for the rest of the Cloud Security Alliance’s guidance. The content of this section focuses on a description of cloud computing that is specifically tailored to the unique perspective of IT network and security professionals.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and, as usual, it’s got us thinking about what we’re truly thankful for this year. If you remember, in 2010 we acknowledged our thanks to wonderful charitable organizations such as Hedge Funds Care and Big Brothers Big Sisters, our great partner network, and our worldwide client base.
This year, we thought we’d ask our employees what they’re thankful for this holiday season. Check out the video below to hear their answers!
When we introduced our readers to the concept of WAN optimization a few months ago, we looked at the various efficiency and budgetary benefits this technology can provide for hedge funds and other alternative investment organizations. To take these advantages one step further, I recently sat down with Matt Jones, our telecommunications technology manager here at Eze Castle, to learn more about how WAN optimization is benefitting our clients, especially those whose employees frequently work remotely.
Matt and I discussed how WAN optimization technology providers offer solutions that enable large volumes of data to be transmitted across telecommunication lines with minimal bandwidth. Through new products that are entering the marketplace, such as Riverbed’s Steelhead Mobile technology, employees can have LAN-like access to all of their important files and documents – just as they would if they were seated at their desks in the office – without incurring the steep costs involved with increasing bandwidth.
As we mentioned in our Help Desk FAQs article a few weeks ago, we recently completed a comprehensive profile on our Help Desk team. This includes an in-depth look at all areas of the department, such as the various sub-groups housed within the Help Desk, the team’s client request escalation procedures, professional development and ongoing skills enhancement provided to all team members and more.
While completing this document, we also created a video depicting our Client Support Center and the team members in action. (You may also remember last year’s video, featuring our director of Help Desk services, Dan Kummer, and associate director, Andre Chinkan.) This year’s video introduces viewers to several members of the Eze Castle Help Desk staff, who take us through many of the team’s most important functions and services. Check it out!
Hardware suppliers and resellers around the world are still reeling in the wake of the destructive flooding in Thailand and its growing impact on the technology and consumer markets. While flooding is hardly uncommon in Thailand, the waters that swept through the country beginning in July are the worst on record and continue to wreak havoc. More than 500 people have lost their lives as a result of the devastation, and thousands of manufacturing factories have been forced to shut down due to lost inventory and irreparable damage.
In recent years, Thailand has emerged as one of the major manufacturing hubs around the world and is responsible for supplying a significant percentage (some argue as much as 70%) of the world’s demand for hard disk drives (HDD). As far as the technology industry is concerned, the current shortage of these hard drives has left major manufacturers crippled and hardware resellers concerned for the future. Notably, the shortage is affecting several of the top HDD producers, including Western Digital, Toshiba and Seagate Technology. And while these producers attempt to shift production to factories in other locations until the water recedes and factories can be rebuilt, the effects of the shortage are already being felt worldwide.
As part of our Exploring Cloud Services for Hedge Funds seminar recap, we have explored IT outsourcing and outsourcing middle and back office operations. In today’s final segment, we will look at compliance and regulatory requirements.
What are the main technology trends within buy-side?
There are many drivers affecting investment decisions today on technology, but the two main drivers are:
Regulatory change exemplified by the Dodd-Frank Act, money market fund rules, cost basis accounting, and the European Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM)
Buy-side firms in general are being affected by the rapid changes in the trade execution business where latency reduction, connectivity to new/more execution venues, and high frequency trading are increasingly popular topics.
Earlier this week, we looked at IT Outsourcing with hosted services. In today’s blog post, we will look at the next hot topic discussed at our ‘Exploring Cloud Services for Hedge Funds’ seminar last week in London -- Outsourcing Hedge Fund Middle and Back Office Operations.
Since the financial crisis in 2008, more and more hedge funds are considering outsourcing their middle and back office functions in an effort to reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage. Let's have a look at some of the questions raised at the seminar:
What are the catalysts for hedge fund managers to outsource their middle and back office operations?
Desire to reduce operational risk by performing tasks that were not performed previously (i.e. daily cash reconciliation, collateral management, etc.)
Inability to consistently align operations and accounting personnel with levels of trading activity
Technology infrastructure and/or personnel that are insufficient to handle current or proposed strategies (i.e. new asset classes or increased trading volume)
Opening overseas offices or taking on a global mandate which requires after-hours support
Failure or serious questions arising from Investor ODD audits that need to be resolved
Change in human resources (i.e. departure of personnel), which forces a firm to rethink its model
Last week, the Eze Castle Integration team in London hosted their final breakfast seminar of the year looking at Cloud Services for Hedge Funds.
The seminar featured a panel of experts: Simon Eyre, Service Director at Eze Castle Integration, Andrew Kaufmann, European Business Development Manager at Viteos, and Christian Nilsson, Head of Investment Solutions - Practice Lead EMEA at Thomson Reuters.
So much information was covered at this event that we’ll be publishing three articles on what was discussed. First up (in this article!), we’ll look at IT outsourcing with hosted services. Next, we will cover outsourcing middle and back office operations.