Summer C-Level Series: Tom Doris, OTAS Technologies
What have been the main themes of your business so far this year?
We’re seeing accelerated growth in all regions, and we’ve continued our rapid development of the OTAS platform. Regulation and the HFT debate has renewed focus on the need for systems like OTAS to provide traders with concise, accurate information in realtime, and we’ve seen a big change in the industry’s awareness of these issues.
We’ve added groundbreaking features such as OTAS InTrade, realtime trading performance analytics, and OTAS Base, our API and SDK for developers who want to quickly build great-looking fintech applications loaded with OTAS content.
Clients and channel partners recognise that analytics are the key to improving the investment decision process, and differentiating their products. We’ve enhanced the OTAS platform to make integration with existing systems easy and inexpensive, so our users can get the OTAS content they need within their existing applications or on their mobile devices.
What has surprised you in 2014?
I’ve been surprised by how engaged the industry has been on trying to find new and better ways to manage data overload, not just to satisfy the regulator, but to deliver real benefit to the investor. Previously, the culture was that every technology choice was a trade secret and firms didn’t openly discuss the topic. Now we’re seeing a more mature attitude emerge, led by the larger institutions running events like Franklin Templeton’s AIR conference; there’s a recognition that we need open discussion on the challenges faced by investment decision makers. The past decade has seen lots of tech development for back and middle office, but almost nothing that really enhances decision support for the traders and portfolio managers. These are the most important people in the firm, yet the technology provided to them for the most part just displays regurgitated data. All the burden of data validation and analysis is put on the people with the most valuable time. The success of big-data analytics driving business processes in other industries has helped the financial sector to realise that today’s technology can deliver real information, not just data, so you make better decisions faster.
What are your expectations for the duration of 2014?
The trend toward open standards ecosystem architectures will continue, and we’ll see some major platforms move in that direction.