An Evolution From Brokers to the Cloud

Written October 26, 2017 by
Jack Bouroudjian
Chief Economist

As someone who has been attending the FIA (Futures Industry Association) show since the mid ‘80’s, I can say, without hesitation, that the show has changed dramatically. The show used to be focused on brokers and traders of derivatives, but now the FIA has become a showcase for the technologies that drive, optimize and support the trading communities across the globe. It’s also clear that one thing that has emerged as a key component of those technologies is the cloud.

The emergence of electronic trading produces wonderful examples of new technologies that connect financial institutions across the world. We noticed many CSP‘s which were dedicated primarily to the financial services industry with particular attention given to low-latency connectivity. The race to profit has also required that those doing Dev-Ops find the right balance between the cost of and the advantages created by Cloud usage.

As we walked the floor of the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, talking with both new and time tested technologies centered around the world of transactional connectivity, it became apparent that most everyone sees the cloud as moving to something like a commodity, or better yet, a utility. That being the case many also share the view that cloud computing should be priced like a utility. As their company names indicate, entities like QuantConnect, Quantiacs, and CloudQuant all have tapped the power of the cloud and open source software. I had some fascinating conversations with attendees when explaining the UCX model and explained the aggregation of cloud services on a single platform for cost comparison and easy acquisition. Almost everyone can get behind saved time and lowered cost.

Of particular interest to me and the rest of the UCX team was the innovators pavilion, which showcases some of the most bleeding-edge technologies. Last year, UCX was pleased to be invited to the innovators pavilion. This year the FIA did not disappoint with new technologies ranging from hardware to AI. The winner this year was Tellus Labs a company dedicated to machine learning and the world of Artificial Intelligence.

Aside from industry leaders talking about the changing regulatory environment for trading, the most interesting presentations was one on cryptocurrencies and the effect blockchain will have on the current payments structure. As the discussion, which was one of the most popular ones at the conference, progressed, the one thing that everyone seemed to agree on was the power of block chain is only available because of present day cloud infrastructure. Another high point of the show was when Bobby Cho from Cumberland Mining (a DRW company) talked about escalating cloud services expenses as a component of overall IT spends.

Yes Bobby, there are many of us that agree with you. It time to put a spotlight on ways to purchase cloud services less expensively and more efficiently. I might have a guy for that..