Prepare for the unexpected and execute fast

by Fernando Vergara | on 25 March 2022

After a two-year hiatus, SmartStream attended The International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton last week – the FIA’s most powerful and prestigious event. Many of the topics addressed concerns about how the industry would deal with continued volatility in the market and the rise in interest rates. There was also a general acceptance amongst the FIA community about the need to accelerate their own digital strategies and cloud adoption programs in order to future-proof their operations.

Preparation, Execution and Resilient Systems

The unexpected pandemic has shaken up the world, where working from home or even taking a more hybrid approach is the ‘new normal’ and having the ability to do so is not an option anymore – it’s reality. Preparation means nothing without execution and those organisations that had been busy preparing for a ‘black swan’ type of event found themselves having to initiate their procedures and fast!

One organisation described how moving into the cloud, helped them navigate through the last two years without missing a beat. Being cloud-native allowed them to work from home immediately, and they were able to manage their systems and processes without interruption. Their journey began over a decade ago, a phased approach meant that could start with the non-critical systems, before expanding the migration process across the entire organisation. This forward-thinking approach meant that they were prepared for the unexpected – minimising the operational risk across the entire organisation.

However, not every organisation has the same mindset and often caution means that the route to adoption can be much slower. There is still concern about the overall security for some, and ultimately there needs to be trust built within the organisation for such journeys to commence.

Moving to the cloud is not a one size fits all approach either. Not all systems are alike, and there is still heavy reliance on old legacy systems which can’t be retired easily. Organisations have to ask themselves, do all our systems qualify to transition to the cloud, are they ready for that change?

If not, is it time to see what’s out there in the market and are there lessons to be learnt from the strategies other organisations have taken?

SmartStream, in partnership with our customers, recognises the importance of resiliency and responsiveness in challenging times, and the need for instant scalability and sustainability for future times. We have countless examples of where we have successfully helped clients transition from their old operating models to cloud environments. These deployments often interface with on-premise solutions until the time is right to migrate fully. Trusted by the industry and regulators, our solutions have achieved PCI-DSS certification, SOC 1, 2, 3, ISO27001 and ISO27002 standards, and we are AWS and MS Azure Certified Partners.

Crypto and Decentralised Markets

The other hot topic amongst the FIA community, and there’s no surprise here, was crypto. The growth of crypto in the assets market is astonishing, to say the least, and now it has the attention of the institutional market and the industry regulators. There was also a strong interest in the crypto derivatives market, which was evidenced by ISDA’s intent in working with participants focused on crypto assets. ISDA has spoken about starting its focus on contractual and capital standards for OTC crypto derivatives, and SmartStream is excited to be partnering with market participants and policy-makers on such initiatives as they unfold.

It’s a good time to mention that SmartStream’s innovations team is currently partnering with customers to investigate the use of AI and machine learning in their operations. These partnerships assess how advanced technology can be used to re-engineer traditional processes in order to boost efficiencies, scale operations and enhance business plans. Today, firms are now using SmartStream’s cloud-native AI and machine learning technologies to reduce operational risk and exposure to processing failures – and when it comes to future proofing their operations, these firms will have the competitive edge.