Of Rough Seas and Sailors

Never before have tech, ops and data professionals been so important. While these are difficult times, it's also their moment to shine.

For the last four weeks, I’ve been trying to think about what to write for this column—honestly, the words have largely escaped me. But in times of great uncertainty, there are two paths the mind can wander down: one of pessimism and one of optimism. Many will vacillate between the two, but I truly believe it’s vital to maintain a positive outlook in times of crisis. This isn’t just whistling in the wind: From the Great Wars and the Great Depression, from assassinations and political resignations, from terrorist attacks and the Financial Crisis—society has always bounced back from dark times. We will again.

Words that my dad has often said to me have been on my mind over the last month: “Smooth seas do not make for skillful sailors.” He didn’t come up with that—it’s an African proverb—but it does ring true today. Now, more than ever before, technology will either be the saving grace for capital markets firms, or their lack of investment in technology will be brought to light—and clients will take notice.

I remember back in 2008 at the height of the Financial Crisis, the first jobs to get cut were often the middle- and back-office tech and ops folks. I hope that’s not the case today. After all, these are the men and women who have set up those networks and tools that are allowing their employees to work remotely without missing a beat. They are carrying on vital tech projects and data integrations. They are the defenders against cyber-attacks. And many of them are still commuting to their offices via public transit so they can ensure their company’s systems are running smoothly during a time of heightened stress.

The April issue of WatersTechnology magazine is going to only be available via PDF and the stories, as always, will appear on WatersTechnology.com. We will not produce a magazine for May, June, and July. Quite frankly, even if we did produce a hard-copy magazine, it would be delivered to an empty office. With that said, we are going to be flooding our website with (we hope) useful information about issues resulting from this pandemic; we will look at how firms are working to future-proof their organizations; and we will provide a forum for thought leaders from across the industry. You can find all of our coverage about the coronavirus here.

Finally, I promise you, our readers who allow us to write these stories, that the editorial team here at WatersTechnology will work harder than we ever have to provide you with valuable information. I believe that this is also a moment for us to shine. We may stumble from time to time, but we will work tirelessly to be an essential source during these uncertain days. If you think we’re missing anything, do not hesitate to reach out to me: email me at anthony.malakian@infopro-digital.com or give me a call at 646-490-3973.

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