Mazy Dar, CEO of OpenFin, discusses digital transformation and interoperability and consequently how it affects the financial services industry.
It’s no secret that today’s financial desktop is too cluttered for comfort. Ask any trader to list their frustrations with their firm’s technology infrastructure, and you’re sure to hear complaints about information overload or the need to manually re-key the same data into multiple applications.
And no wonder. To survive in today’s increasingly competitive capital markets, employees at banks and buy-side firms must have a laundry list of tools at their disposal: trading, trade analytics, research analytics, CRM, chat, and OMS/EMS to name a few. Accordingly, firms have made major investments in these capabilities, whether by building in-house platforms or enlisting a third-party vendor, meaning their desktops are now loaded with powerful functionalities.
The problem arises when traders need to quickly access and gain insight from these applications to make complex, real-time decisions. In an industry where every second counts, it is tremendously frustrating to scroll through endless lists and select the same information on multiple platforms—even in the best of cases it is a tedious process, and in the worst, it can create a material impact on a firm’s ability to make the trades they want.
The result is often an institution that is paying for all kinds of powerful applications but whose employees are not able to leverage them to their full extent. The insights they gain are offset by the sheer frustration of navigating these platforms. It’s a quintessential one step forward, two-steps-back scenario.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Wall Street could take a page from Silicon Valley when it comes to the financial desktop? After all, we don’t have these problems with our smartphones—instead, apps on iOS or Android communicate with each other and share information, (even if they were built by different developers) making for a seamless experience. For example, a user who plots a route on their Maps app might be prompted to book an Uber, or one who uses Airbnb to book lodging may find that the dates have synced automatically to their calendar. The smartphone workflow, if you call it that, is automated and users rarely need to think about how to get a piece of information from one app to another.
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