It seems hardly any time goes by before another exchange has merged, clearing house launched or regulatory requirement hoved into view.
I feel for COOs and Heads of Operations at clearing firms and brokerages, as their challenges have increased and the rate of change seems to be accelerating. It's also true that their options for technology provision have tended to be limited: use one of
the few big providers or build internally. The problem is that big vendors tend to come with big ticket prices and, after all, "it's only back office, so let's build it ourselves!"
However, what was traditionally regarded as 'back office', operations teams have increasingly come into the spotlight as regulation becomes ever more 'top of mind' for boards and investors. New and consolidated exchanges, new clearing services, new products
all add to the ongoing demand for changes to technology.
What can be done to help meet this challenge? One idea is that of sustainability. Not (necessarily) the green, eco-friendly kind but a set of technologies that can scale, are easily maintained and are affordable and adaptable. Starting out by recognising
that change is a constant that is here for the long-term is a healthy attitude, then embracing the fact that things will continually change and that firms need to prepared.
When internal IT is used to develop back-office and clearing solutions, organisations often tend to be in reactive mode where each change presents a new set of resource priorities and work has to be carefully choreographed. When flexible, service-based technology
is deployed, it becomes the vendors' problem and the operations team can concentrate on running the business, not changing it.