Category Archives: Operational Efficiency
There are lots of ways to run a trading firm.
Some firms use a strategy centered around high frequency or algorithmic trading, which are similar in that having the best technology and writing the fastest trading applications is essential.
At the other end of the spectrum, some firms employ only human traders, using a traditional buy-and-hold strategy, expecting to hold the security for months or even years before moving it.
But in between these two ends of the spectrum, there exists a hybrid that uses electronic trading with a bit of buy-and-hold added in. Some call this blend “trade smarter, not harder”.
Instead of competing with other traders to get the absolute lowest price, this strategy prioritizes on making better decisions by doing “pre-trade analytics” on historical and financial data.
More and more business applications are moving from the desktop to the cloud, and electronic trading applications are no different.
Over the last five or ten years, application vendors have established several advantages of running major applications, even mission-critical applications like salesforce.com, over the cloud.
These advantages include:
- Easier and smoother upgrades, which provides much better adaptability and agility in the face of changing market and business conditions, plus a better user experience,
- Better scalability, with newer technology advances, and
- Better portability across a wide array of device types, including smartphones and tablets (especially in the last 2-3 years).
Recent improvements in Web technology, such as HTML5 WebSockets, are helping to speed this transition along by providing several throughput and latency advantages over earlier iterations of Web technology, and even over native Windows applications. Now, application architects can freely choose the technology that provides a better path for growth, agility, and scalability, which is often a Cloud-based solution.
As I write this, a few of our customers who provide electronic trading solutions to their clients are making the strategic move to develop a next generation application based in the Cloud. The main driver for one customer was to be able to take on more clients more quickly and therefore grow the business faster by increasing marginal revenue and profitability. They found that the list of challenges with a thick desktop client to be just too big for growing the business as quickly as they wanted to — or needed to.
Messaging middleware, especially peer-to-peer solutions such as Informatica Ultra Messaging, can be a very important piece of a Cloud-based application. The peer-to-peer “nothing in the middle” model provides applications not just ultra-high performance (whether for high throughput or low latency), but also near-linear scalability, true 24×7 reliability and availability, and business and IT agility. These qualities tie directly to the advantages listed above.
Cloud-based applications, of course, must also contend with the Internet and all that comes with that: support for various browsers and platforms (and versions of each), scalability and bandwidth issues, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. New web technologies like HTML5 WebSockets from Kaazing are best positioned to take care of the path from server to the smartphone or tablet, and with JMS connectivity to Ultra Messaging on the back end, can provide a Cloud-based application with a lean, scalable and agile infrastructure, usually with less hardware.
For more, please see our 2011 Efficiency series (#1, #2, #3) on our Perspectives blog, or whitepapers such as Modern Messaging Middleware for Big Data in Motion or Enterprise Messaging Data for the Web.
A recent trip to a supermarket in Telluride, Colorado struck me as a funny place to find an analogy for data quality, but there it was. You see, supermarkets here require you to bring your own bags to cart your groceries home. Those brown disposable plastic bags are banned here – the town has made a firm commitment to the philosophy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. By adhering to this environmental philosophy, data integration teams can develop and deploy successful data quality strategies across the enterprise despite the constraints of today’s “do more with less” IT budgets.
In the decade that I’ve been in the Information Management space, I’ve noticed that success in data integration usually comes in small increments – typically on a project by project basis. However, by leveraging those small incremental successes and deploying them in a repeatable, consistent fashion – either as standardized rules sets or data services in a SOA – development teams can maximize their impact at the enterprise level.
At our recent Informatica World Conference I had a revelation. These don’t come often to me, and it was made all the clearer to me when I was watching EMC World unfold across the social networks recently as well.
My revelation relates to the impact Big Data is going to have on enterprises and their approach to integrating data. I believe that Big Data will be the tipping point that will force enterprises to move away from hand-coding and other disposable data integration (or “DDI”) techniques. Just as we did 30 years ago when enterprises threw out hand coding and embraced the relational database; just as we did 15 years ago when enterprises threw out hand coding and embraced storage management software, now so too must enterprises throw out hand coding that delivers disposable data integration and embrace commercially available data integration software for true enterprise data integration. There is simply no other way of managing the enormous volumes, variety and velocity that will hit all enterprises in the coming years. (more…)
Evaluating a price in the Equities or Foreign Exchange (“FX”) markets does not require much calculation, and so one of the prime limiting factors on winning those trades has been the speed of data movement, from one application to another, either within the same host or across the network. But the world of Fixed Income, commonly known as “bonds”, is different. (more…)
Our customers tell us that their most important asset is their data. We are no different and, as a marketer, I am always looking at ways in which I can “do more with less” and drive greater efficiency. Master Data Management (MDM) is a critical component of our infrastructure which is having a significant positive effect on our internal efficiency. MDM is a solution that helps deliver a single view of a customer across different operational systems on-premise or in the cloud – including the relationships that the customer has with other people and the products they have purchased. However, we also use it for another reason – to improve our lead processing efficiency. (more…)
Informatica Data Replication has triggered a lot of interest and also a lot of questions about why replication is seeing such a resurgence in the market today. The answer is simple: the same conditions that caused its creation for mission-critical operational systems back in the early 1990′s are now happening with data warehousing as well. (more…)
Today, agility and timely visibility are critical to the business. No wonder CIO.com, states that business intelligence (BI) will be the top technology priority for CIOs in 2012. However, is your data architecture agile enough to handle these exacting demands?
In his blog Top 10 Business Intelligence Predictions For 2012, Boris Evelson of Forrester Research, Inc., states that traditional BI approaches often fall short for the two following reasons (among many others):
- BI hasn’t fully empowered information workers, who still largely depend on IT
- BI platforms, tools and applications aren’t agile enough (more…)
Gartner hosted a webinar on January 10, 2012: Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast. One of the topics covered was industry IT spend for 2012.
In covering that topic they made a point of saying that due to severe flooding in Thailand, they expect storage to become in short supply (as much as a 29% global shortfall) through the end of 2012. It is expected that the price of storage/GB will increase as a result and supplies will fall short of demand. They recommended finding alternatives to purchasing storage to keep costs down. (more…)
If you haven’t already, I think you should read The Forrester Wave™: Data Virtualization, Q1 2012. For several reasons – one, to truly understand the space, and two, to understand the critical capabilities required to be a solution that solves real data integration problems.
At the very outset, let’s clearly define Data Virtualization. Simply put, Data Virtualization is foundational to Data Integration. It enables fast and direct access to the critical data and reports that the business needs and trusts. It is not to be confused with simple, traditional Data Federation. Instead, think of it as a superset which must complement existing data architectures to support BI agility, MDM and SOA. (more…)