London Stock Exchange brings IT operations back in-house

London Stock Exchange brings IT operations back in-house

The London Stock Exchange has decided not to extend its IT outsourcing contract with Accenture, and will bring its day-to-day IT operations back in-house as part of a new technology roadmap.

Accenture has worked with the exchange for the past 15 years, including the development of trading system SETS and more recently the real-time data platform Infolect. Accenture also worked on the new TradElect core trading system that will go live in London on 18 June. The system already went live in April at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which has an IT contract with the London Stock Exchange.

The TradElect system is the culmination of a four-year technology roadmap started by the exchange in 2003. As well as introducing new systems, this roadmap involved the exchange moving its hardware environment from HP Tandem servers to commodity servers, and working with the Microsoft.NET Framework and associated technologies.

At an exchange industry event last week, Chief Information Officer David Lester said that the launch of TradElect should address concerns in the market about how well exchanges perform when volumes peak - as they did in March when a particularly volatile day saw infrastructure failures in many markets, and the performance of London's trading system slowed under the weight of transactions.

A London Stock Exchange spokesperson said the decision to insource the operations staff reflects how important service delivery is to the exchange's future strategy. A team of around 150 people will be transitioned to employment by the exchange through till January 2008. Most of them already work on site at the exchange.

Despite losing its IT operations outsourcing contract, Accenture will continue to be involved in the exchange's software development and has signed a contract extension to deliver development support until March 2010.

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