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Recapping SIFMA Financial Services Technology Expo 2010

By Mary Beth Hamilton | Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Another SIFMA Financial Services Technology Expo has concluded in New York City and everyone we’ve talked to is digesting the ideas presented and the technology they saw. This year’s show was certainly smaller than years past but the quality of attendees, exhibitors and presentations was on par with the larger events of 2006 and 2007. In my opinion, the smaller exhibit hall with 200+ vendors (still pretty big!) makes things a bit more manageable for the 8,000 attendees and mirrors the consolidation and shifts that have occurred in the financial services industry.

Not surprisingly, the hot topics of this year’s event included risk management, high frequency trading and cloud computing. A survey by SIFMA and IBM that was released at the conference also found those topics to be the driving forces behind 2010 and 2011 technology spend. The survey of 250 business and IT Wall Street professionals identified that of all regulatory activities, systemic risk was chosen by 55% of respondents to be the largest driver of IT investments. Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 90 percent of participants expect to outsource one or more of their processes,

  • Firms are most likely to outsource compliance reporting and analytics for risk, and

  • Behind cloud computing, mobile technologies are expected to force significant business and operating model changes.

We’ve seen a consistent increase in cloud computing deployments and are regularly having conversations with firms about why cloud computing is right for many hedge funds. Our hosted IT platform, Eze Virtual Office, is just one example of how a firm can leverage cloud computing to operate off an enterprise caliber infrastructure at a fraction of the cost.

At SIFMA our partner, BNY ConvergEx, announced that Eze Castle Integration is certified to host and deliver Eze OMS as an ASP solution to the hedge fund and asset management industry. We currently host Eze OMS for a number of hedge funds and this formal external announcement is further proof that the industry is heading in the direction of hosted IT and applications. According to BNY ConvergEx, the benefits of going with fully outsourced IT management of the Eze OMS environment include:

  • Allowing clients to focus their full attention on business operations rather than IT concerns,

  • Access to robust business continuity options, including high availability and disaster recovery, and

  • Achieving the same level of flexibility with market data and FIX network providers as is available with the traditional delivery model.

On the high frequency trading front, we found Aite Analyst Adam Honore’s panel with IBM on “Addressing Tomorrow's Trading Opportunities Today” top notch and the crowd it drew was proof of that. Luckily that panel snagged the 9:00 a.m. spot because come 10:00 a.m. the USA v/s England game cleared the sessions as attendees flocked to the closest TVs. Of course, to capitalize on the crowds, vendors rushed to stream the game at their booths – bye bye software demos, hello World Cup.

All-in-all SIFMA 2010 showed the positive signs of recovery we’re seeing across the financial services market. Not ready to leave SIFMA 2010 behind yet (we understand)? 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2011!

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