In the fast-paced world of trading, the only constant is change. As the industry continually evolves, the role of technology becomes increasingly central to success. A forward-thinking approach is vital for traders who aim to stay ahead of the curve and safeguard their operations against the waves of transformation.

The following is based on several decades of trading management experience within TS Imagine, as well as front-line experience implementing and supporting trading technology for over 500 leading global financial institutions over the past three decades.

Navigate the shift to SaaS architecture like a change agent

The transition to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) architecture is a pivotal move for trading desks looking to enhance flexibility and reliability. Unlike traditional software models, SaaS solutions provide continuous updates, seamless integration, and on-demand access. The benefits are clear: reduced upgrade stress, quicker access to enhanced functionality, and lighter footprint in terms of IT infrastructure. But how can you ensure a smooth transition to SaaS without disrupting your business operations?

Prioritize compatibility and integration

Before jumping into a SaaS solution, ensure that it can flawlessly integrate with your existing systems. This means compatibility not only at the API level but also in terms of your workflow and business processes. Look for SaaS providers with a proven track record of successful integrations and a roadmap that features clear APIs and integration frameworks.

Embrace change management  

Any shift in technology implies change in user behavior and business processes. A solid change management plan is essential to prepare your team for the shift, communicate the benefits, and set up systems for ongoing support. This includes not only technical training but also strategies for maintaining data integrity and ensuring business continuity during the transition.

Create a feedback loop to drive continuous improvements   

One of the key advantages of SaaS is the rapid iteration and deployment of new features. To get the most out of this, set up feedback loops that allow your team to provide input on what’s working and what could be improved. This creates a more collaborative relationship with your SaaS provider, resulting in a system that continues to evolve alongside your business needs.

Optimize your portfolio across asset classes

In a world where asset classes are increasingly interdependent and the lines between them blur, traders must equip themselves with platforms capable of handling a variety of instruments. Whether your focus is on stocks, bonds, commodities, or the latest crypto asset, a multi-asset platform enables you to capture a more holistic view of the market and to seize opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed.  It also inherently equips your traders with a future proof platform that aligns itself to the accelerating industry trend towards interoperable multi-asset class desks.

Leverage automation to optimize your multi-asset strategy

Automatically adjust your portfolio in response to market shifts and make split-second decisions that would be impossible for a human trader without technology. Implementing machine learning models that grow in accuracy and sophistication over time can be the key to unlocking the full potential of a multi-asset trading strategy.

Prioritize security and compliance across diverse ecosystems

Managing multiple asset classes has the potential to increase your exposure to security threats and ramp up your compliance requirements. Ensure your multi-asset platform is equipped with robust security measures and comprehensive compliance features. A proactive approach to security will protect not only your assets but also the trust of your investors and other stakeholders.

Embrace the benefits of real-time data

With a multi-asset platform, access to real-time data is more critical than ever. It’s possible to execute trades across multiple markets with confidence when your technology is underpinned by up-to-the-millisecond information. Implementing a robust data strategy that aggregates and analyzes information from multiple sources is central to maintaining a competitive edge in a landscape where timing is everything.

Break free from the pack with a proprietary FIX network

Selecting a provider with a proprietary FIX network provides independence and control in addition to valuable connections to brokers and the ability to automatically satisfy certain regulatory requirements. What’s more, a proprietary FIX network that has been battle tested and continuously enhanced for over 20 years will typically offer additional value such as instrument identifier validation, normalization across geographies and a full spectrum of order routing types.

Increase speed

In such a competitive field, even marginal gains in speed can translate to significant advantages in the market. When you operate within a proprietary FIX network, you can tailor the network’s architecture, manage traffic, and eliminate any third-party dependencies that might create tailwinds.

Keep your finger on the pulse and adapt as standards evolve

As technologies and trading strategies evolve, so too does the FIX protocol. If your trading technology has its own network, you can automatically adapt to FIX protocol changes and stay ahead of the curve, implementing the latest standards and innovations as they emerge.

Seek out high-touch customer service in a digital world

In an industry often lauded for its technological innovation, the human touch remains a cornerstone of exceptional service. High-touch, onsite customer service can be a potent differentiator, particularly in the realm of electronic trading where the line between human and machine is increasingly blurred.

Empower your team with expertise and authority, and make time for personal connections

Invest time in meeting key customer service personnel at your technology vendor who can drive training and development for your team. Give your team the tools and autonomy to resolve issues quickly and effectively, avoiding the red tape that can slow implementations at large organizations.

Get to know your local support team for quick, familiar service when you need it

Comprehensive customer support infrastructure ensures you can access the assistance you need when you need it. The best support teams will have numerous, locally based experts who monitor and respond to clients across all channels, aggregating and analyzing data to continuously improve your experience.

Conclusion

Staying ahead in the dynamic and competitive world of electronic trading requires a diligent focus on technological advancement. The pillars of SaaS architecture, multi-asset platforms, proprietary FIX networks, and high-touch customer service offer a solid foundation for the future of your trading desk.

We encourage you to embrace these technologies while maintaining a human-centric approach. This will allow you to future-proof your trading desk, outrun your competition, and provide the stellar outcomes demanded by modern investors.

 

Insight