Keep Your Eye on These
Each year, there is a new hot trend that emerges and looks as if it may transform the industry. The "It" technology has been middleware, the Web, and wireless, as well as numerous others over the years. Some have become truly critical in transforming the industry, while others didn't have the impact that visionaries had predicted. Nevertheless, they are important to monitor - nobody wants to miss out on the next big thing. As a result, we have asked three tech execs what technologies and trends they believe you should keep an eye on. Here is what they said:
Janus' CTO Andrea Young
"Given the nature of financial services, security, particularly in the areas of authentication and secure data transmission, has inspired substantial efforts to maintain a secure and stable environment. Among the technologies and techniques we are constantly managing and enhancing include firewalls, virus protection, audits, planning, encryption, redundancy, standards, security servers and VPNs."
"The trend is toward a co-operative global model within financial services. Leveraging best-in-class partnerships, products, and services to compliment and extend offerings is shaping the way business is done. The evolution of the Internet backbone for interconnectivity, ETL (extract-transform load) tools, security services, and EAI frameworks have all contributed to massive collaborative efforts. We see a continuing positive evolution of collaborative-business model and technologies. XML and services-based architectures are evolving technologies. In addition, we are anticipating further advances where 'middleware that thinks.'"
"The highly mobile research, sales, and marketing arms of Janus have led our IT department into the forefronts of supporting a mobile-connected workforce. Investors have had fund values pushed to cell phones and pagers for years now. We are endeavoring to support business functions anytime/anywhere for our employees. We see extending these same capabilities to our partners and investors as secure and robust infrastructure and devices evolve. The key is to maintain a nimble and flexible infrastructure - to enable ourselves to use others products and services to provide these extended capabilities."
Merrill's John Cummings, COO, Global Technology & Services
Voice Over IP
"Merrill Lynch believes Voice over IP is an important emerging technology for a number of reasons. By implementing it in our Hopewell, N.J. campus and other new locations, we've improved efficiencies by not only enhancing 'employee mobility' but also by converging both written and voice messaging into one single platform. It has helped reduce the baseline cost of moving employees to new or alternate locations and provides significant opportunities in reducing our overall data-center costs by collapsing our PBX in our branches into one data center. It is also an essential element of our contingency and recovery plans."
Lehman's CTO Bridget O'Connor
Continuous Availability & Data-Replication Advancements
"While we have begun to see the notion of continuous availability emerge in technology silos, such as with Oracle's RAC implementation, we expect to see this permeate the technology stack and see further momentum towards enterprise availability. In the space of data replication, we have seen early versions of technology that offer the promise of extending traditional data-center distances beyond the limits that are today imposed by dark fiber. This will become much more important for financial-services firms as they look to meet the guidelines that have been proposed in the SEC/Fed white paper on Sound Practices to Strengthen the Resilience of the U.S. Financial System."
GRID Computing, Bladed Servers & PCs
"While the notion of parallel computing has existed for many years, with a number of home-grown applications, what seems to be really changing this landscape is the delivery of bladed servers and PCs into the marketplace with their shared-nothing model (neither memory nor peripheral storage is shared among processors) and high-speed interconnects."
Workflow & Business-Activity Monitoring
"Traditionally, we handle data and business-logic flow across multiple systems and processing stages by writing custom logic into application code and building scripts, stored procedures, etc. The emerging workflow solutions enable the IT manager and even business user to directly view and manage the data flow and cross-system-interaction logic via graphical tools. Emerging business-activity-monitoring solutions let end users graphically see the state of business processes (e.g. trades/allocations) at all stages of the business flow. This offers the potential to streamline many business processes and dramatically cut time-to-market for integrating complex applications."