Covid-19: Goldman CTO says remote tech working 'flawlessly'

Covid-19: Goldman CTO says remote tech working 'flawlessly'

The Covid-19 crisis could spur innovative uses of technology, such as VR trading desks, in the financial services sector, according to Goldman Sachs CTO Atte Lahtiranta, who says the Wall Street giant has adapted smoothly to the lockdown.

Goldman, like the rest of the industry, has had to adapt at breakneck speed to a world where the vast majority of its tens of thousands of employees have to work remotely.

In an in-house interview, the bank's CTO, Lahtiranta, says the transition has been smoothed by good technology: specifically, Goldman's own remote desktop system, its use of industry messaging service Symphony, and the now-ubiquitous video outfit, Zoom.

"It was definitely many, many technologies that came together and have been proven to work really flawlessly for our current environment," he says.

For Lahtiranta, the pandemic has been a baptism of fire, coming just months after he joined Goldman from Verizon Media Group.

He continues: "Every moment, every evening I'm like what did I sign up for? I thought that it was a more constant-paced, more regulated environment.

"I did not understand how fast we can go, and as an industry how fast we can adapt. So it's actually, when people say the things we do in big tech, I would almost say look at how we do it in finance."

Lahtiranta says that the industry's adoption of public cloud technologies in recent years gives firms a "very versatile technology base" and that this means there will be rapid and significant changes in how companies operate beyond the crisis.

"This is only going to go faster. We are going to be adopting new technologies, not as a fast follower, but in many cases as a leader.

"Be that a VR trading desk or whatever that is, it's going to be something where we are taking a lead because we have a true need to serve our clients with that sort of model."

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