Keeping Technology Simple

Anthony Malakian, deputy editor, Buy-Side Technology

For as long as there have been third-party vendors creating new technologies, there has always been one nagging question: Should I make my solution complex and expansive or simple and specialized?

This week we produced a case study on how Rohatyn Group, a New York-based hedge fund with $2.5 billion under management, went about taming its historical data. Warren Master, the firm's chief technology officer, chose Ingres' VectorWise database solution because of how easy it was to implement.

"They gave me a sample piece of code [in order] to run the application; I ran my simple test, which typically takes about a half-a-day to load-up and run, and it ran. I was amazed," he says. "I could not say that for the other proof-of-concepts, to be honest with you. In some cases I had to learn a completely different dialect of query language - I had to learn different ways of how data gets into the database, and all these other issues."

Master told me that he always advises his vendor partners not to include everything but the kitchen sink in their products. "A lot of these database servers become so heavy and fat with all this other stuff that they forget what they are really trying to solve - data retrieval and storage," he says.

I speak with vendors all the time and all too often when they are trying to explain their solution at its most basic level, the conversation turns into a convoluted, scatterbrained exercise in futility.

Sure, there is a place for 'all-singing-all-dancing' products, but most of the time the KISS approach is preferable to that where you're trying to create an industry panacea - Keep It Simple Stupid.


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