Time for Spring Cleaning

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Rob Daly, Sell-Side Technology

In about four weeks, Incisive Media’s New York office will relocate to 55 Broad Street, further into the heart of Wall Street. From our new vantage point, we'll be able to keep an eye on the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and NYSE Euronext. If we really crane our necks, we'll be able to see Bats Global Trading, too.

As with any move, we're going through everything in the office and deciding if it's worth keeping or pitching. It's a great exercise. I've already been leafing through a stack of issues of Dealing with Technology—SST's predecessor—dating back to 2005. My, how the world has changed in six years.

Looking back even further, I'd say the last time the industry did its own serious spring cleaning was in 1998 and 1999 in the run-up to Y2K. Besides hiring back all the retired Cobol programmers to update legacy code, I can't count how many other non-related projects found funding under a claim of Y2K preparedness.

Now with firms getting ready for the double-barrel effects of the Dodd–Frank Act in the US, and the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II) in Europe, is it time for the industry to do another round of spring cleaning?

All the mission-critical applications deployed back in 1998 are at least a few years overdue for replacement. They really should have been replaced back in 2008, but a small liquidity issue tied up most broker-dealers' IT budgets for a year or two.

Besides over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives processing, which part of the business are you seeing getting the most IT bucks these days? Drop me a line at [email protected]

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