Lord's Tech as Savior: Michael Radziemski's Tech Vision Helps Lord Abbett Weather Hurricane Sandy

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Lord's Tech as Savior: Michael Radziemski's Tech Vision Helps Lord Abbett Weather Hurricane Sandy

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The New Frontier
Not everything going on inside Lord Abbett’s IT department will focus on client-facing initiatives. One trend emerging throughout the industry is that the workforce is becoming more comfortable with technology. Workers are more knowledgeable about the inner-workings of technology, and have expectations of how technology should work. They want the technology they use at home—such as tablets and smartphones—to be available in the workplace.

Therefore, the next frontier for Radziemski’s development team is creating mobile apps in-house specifically for in-house use. The focus will always be on developing products that help clients. But internal staff also want the tools that can make them more efficient with their in-house workings so they can also focus more on client-related projects. “Lots of iPad apps have emerged in the consumer space,” Radziemski says. “Now we’re starting to see business-to-business iPhone and iPad apps such that if we’re working with another firm, we might deploy some capabilities via the app. The next frontier is developing apps in-house for in-house use.”

Lord Abbett has already launched a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy, where the firm encourages employees to use their own iPhones, BlackBerrys or Android devices. Radziemski and his team worked closely with the legal and compliance departments to ensure that they developed a strategy that would meet the firm’s regulatory and security needs, while allowing users to have freedom and flexibility.

“My view of BYOD is that it’s inevitable. It’s not a choice—it’s already here,” Radziemski says. “You can either fight it, or you can embrace it. If you fight it, you’re going to get steamrolled. The devices evolve so fast that, number one, we can’t control them, and we shouldn’t try. And number two, we have to assume they’re not secure. So we want to deploy things that are self-protecting.”

Radziemski expects public cloud offerings to become more enticing in the not-too-distant future—right now such environments do not meet his security needs for the services that Lord Abbett delivers. But Radziemski says that with some of the public cloud options being developed by exchanges like NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq, which is working in partnership with Amazon, the industry is not too far away from public offerings becoming more viable.

Radziemski sees the evolution moving from private clouds to a hybrid mix that initially leans toward the private, but ultimately ends up with more of a public slant. Public clouds might become the standard, he says. “If we give it time, there will ultimately be a public cloud infrastructure offering that financial services firms can use,” he explains. “At that point, folks in my seat will need to have a hybrid cloud where you have some loads processed in-house and some processed out of the house [in the cloud], depending on need.”


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