01.16.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Trading Apps Delivered Via Cloud

Cloud-based delivery models are enable trading applications and market data to be delivered to mobile devices, at a time when portability has become a prerequisite for any market data provider.

“The days of expensive terminals and complicated codes are no longer viable for this changing marketplace,” said Zohar Hod, global head of sales and support at SuperDerivatives, a provider of data and analytics for derivatives. “Clients need intuitive systems to enhance their trading operations while slashing spending on market data costs.”

Although small to mid-sized hedge funds have traditionally outsourced core IT services, demand for cloud-based platforms has escalated due to the emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS), a computing model in which services are hosted and delivered via the cloud.

Shifting projects and applications to the cloud helps reduce costs by reducing excess capacity, speeds up deployment times by leveraging existing infrastructure and provides scalable capacity for new projects.

Scott Caudell, VP, Interactive Data Corp.

Scott Caudell, VP, Interactive Data.

“Typically, the drivers are capital expense or barrier to entry to a market and/or cost reduction strategy,” said Scott Caudell, vice-president of IT infrastructure at Interactive Data, a provider of financial market data. “These are usually driven by new market testing and exploration as well as margin improvement and cost control strategies.”

SuperDerivatives’ new real-time cash and derivatives market data platform, DGX, is a cloud-based data, news, chat and analysis platform, delivering cash and derivatives market data direct to users’ desktop, iPad or mobile device.

The move toward iPhones and other mobile devices represents a paradigm shift from centrally managed services to a blended approach of centrally managed and user-managed within the corporate culture.

For investing and trading firms, the challenge presented by cloud and mobile is to be flexible enough to enable employees to do their jobs outside normal business hours, while maintaining the same level of control and oversight as is found in the office.

The mobile devices in everyday use—iPads, iPhones and other android devices—possess capabilities that are increasing at a dramatic pace.

Financial services providers are increasingly moving to cloud-based mobile applications. For example, FactSet and Bloomberg provide iPad versions of their apps, and derivatives-trading platform Quick Screen Trading connects to European and Asian exchanges through QST Mobile for iPhone and iPad applications.

DGX provides a huge variety of additional data sources and third party apps via the DGX Store. “Our clients have access to third party apps and purchase additional data/applications depending on their personal needs,” said Hod. “Firms can also package their proprietary datasets within the store, either for distribution to clients, or for internal use.”

The move from private and disparate facilities to more centralized regional facilities by market venue has produced various financial ecosystems.

“With firms and venues deploying infrastructure at one, or more, of these sites, natural leverage has resulted,” said Caudell at Interactive Data. “We now see data centers that were initially designed to house infrastructure for equities trading now also being used for other asset classes. This has created new and natural convergences between access, assets and the various market participants.”

DGX was developed over two years in response to demand for an alternative to installed systems that participants are finding prohibitively expensive. DGX data coverage includes bonds, equities, CDS, commodities, interest rates and currencies.

The platform has chat facilities including video and multi-party chat, newsfeed and commentaries from multiple sources, a Twitter feed and live business television channels.

“DGX is based on free text search similar to Google which predicts search topics and includes historical memory, remembering user preferences,” said Hod at SuperDerivatives.

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