It could be the buzz that surrounds the industry. Or maybe it's the industry's fixation on the latest, fastest and most cutting-edge technology that brought me back after an 18-month break. In what other industry can a millisecond improvement in transaction speed translate into exponential profits?
After covering technology for the financial services space for a good portion of my career as a journalist - first at Global Investment Technology (when the Global Straight Through Processing Committee, the precursor to the GSTPA, was just a gleam in the industry's eye) and later at CMP's Insurance & Technology and Bank Systems & Technology magazines - I decided to shift gears. In late 2003, I dove into a completely new market: technology for manufacturing.
At the time, and to this day, colleagues and friends questioned my desire to focus on manufacturing - a segment of the U.S. economy that has lost more than 3 million jobs since 2000 and, by certain accounts, is in a tailspin with little hope of recovery. At times, I even questioned myself.
But sometimes it's good to look outside the box. Manufacturers face many of the same challenges (such as regulatory compliance and speed to market) that you encounter each day.
That said, there are tremendous advances being made in both financial services and manufacturing. Just as manufacturers look to financial services firms for best practices in business continuity planning, business process management and data integration, for example, the securities industry should look outside of its domain to see what others are doing. For instance, Six Sigma, a quality measurement metric with roots in manufacturing, now is commonly used in financial services.
So, while I'm not advocating an 18-month leave, take a look outside the box - you never know what you might learn. And, as for my new role, I look forward to meeting and interacting with many of you. The staff of Wall Street & Technology prides itself on its ability to work closely with its readers to develop industry-leading content. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] with your thoughts on the industry, trends and the articles in the magazine.
Publisher's Note: Now that you've met Greg MacSweeney, please note that Kerry Massaro, whose column has appeared on this page for nearly seven years, remains part of our management team in an important new role. Kerry has been named Editor-in-Chief of Advanced Trading, our new publication launched in March 2005 that is dedicated to the electronic trading markets. As cofounder of Advanced Trading, Kerry is the ideal person to lead the publication's editorial direction and aggressive expansion plans. Like most of your firms, we are focused on doubling our business in the years ahead. Having the team of Greg and Kerry in place is the critical first step in our drive to achieve this goal. -J.E.Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio