Eight Reasons – You’ve decided to ‘go cloud’, what should you consider next?
In our last article, we discussed seven reasons why moving your trading communications to the cloud might be the right decision for your digital transformation strategy. Today, we dig into what you need to think about once the initial decision to “go cloud” has been made. Specifically, eight key considerations that will help you determine the best approach to cloud adoption.
Here are the most important questions to answer.
1. Cloud Provider
The first thing to consider is who to trust to deliver the reliability, performance and capabilities the workload requires. Trading communications is not an ordinary application. The financial markets wait for no one and requirements around availability, quality and latency cannot be compromised. The cloud provider you choose should be able to demonstrate how their solution is designed to address the needs of demanding users operating in real-time in a highly regulated industry as well as the specific performance of trader voice communications.
2. Cloud Type
Whether you have a preference for public, private or hybrid cloud one thing is certain. Over time, situations will inevitably arise that demand flexibility, so avoiding getting locked into a cloud architecture or provider that cannot adapt to your business should be high up the list of your decision criteria.
3. Their Network or Yours
All networks are not created equal. The latency arms race to gain competitive advantage in certain corners of the financial markets is measured in nanoseconds. For this and sometimes other reasons, there are firms who want to use their own network to support trading communications. For others, they want to leave that responsibility to their provider. A final scenario is where there is a desire to mix and match. Maybe hub offices have the network to support trader voice and satellite offices do not. No matter where you fall along this continuum, a provider that has the ability to design a network that suits your needs is superior to the one-size fits all alternative.
Gaining flexibility, resilience and cost savings in a move to the cloud are desirable outcomes. Unfortunately, without consistent application performance they won’t really matter because your trading teams will not be able to do their job effectively. Understanding how your provider ensures solution performance is critical. Getting clear answers about who they depend on to deliver the service and what the contingencies are when something goes wrong will go a long way in helping you decide how they maintain the required standards of application performance.
Security is a responsibility shared by the customer and the cloud provider. Combining good governance with secure infrastructure and vigilant oversight can go a long way in ensuring an optimal security posture for both parties in a world that seems to be less and less secure every day. Learning about your cloud providers’ accreditations and certifications, adherence to international standards and their audit process should demonstrate their commitment to cyber and information security is holistic, comprehensive and ongoing.
Traders are not known for their patience. And with good reason, because the markets are an unforgiving master. Most of us who have dealt with an outsourced IT function, have learned the need for patience. Managing change in a trading communications environment is a challenge at the best of times. And a low-touch, self-service model for certain things can be okay up to a point. But it is important to make sure your provider can demonstrate the depth, breadth and track record of dealing with trading floor SLA expectations. Because while the cloud brings many benefits, the ability to deliver high-touch support where and when you need it is critical.
Making the trading workflow efficient is more important than ever. As markets become more automated, communications channels proliferate and the divide between man and machine blurs, trading technology professionals are focused on integrating the many platforms and applications to gain insight, reduce risk and eliminate errors. Ensuring that the cloud trading communications platform and architecture are open and extensible will give your firm the necessary flexibility to integrate trading communications into the overall workflow.
8. User Experience
Providing trading teams with the features and functions that optimize performance is non-negotiable. Not only are traders creatures of habit, but their effectiveness depends on having a mastery of their environment. Applications, data feeds and communications channels are interwoven in the trading cockpit to support split-second decision-making. This has spawned an entire industry of specialized communications devices purpose-built for traders that are an absolute must have.
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Meet CADENCE – A digital cloud communications platform that lets your trading teams perform at their best from anywhere.