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The IT Challenges and Opportunities of Trading in a Digital World

The IT Challenges and Opportunities of Trading in a Digital World 

For most of the past century, that image was true. But as the world became more global and markets matured, technology and algorithmic logic have replaced the once-frantic trading floor.

Today, technology presents the greatest opportunity, and the greatest challenge for capital markets. This shift has brought many benefits to finance. Speed has increased to the point of instantaneous trades, and with it, the volume of activity and data being analyzed has increased exponentially. The result is a new electronic world of lightning-fast trading, eliminating time and space as barriers to generating wealth across the globe. Trades can now happen as fast as technology will allow, with buyers and sellers sensitive to activity by the nanosecond. Gone are the days of having to wait minutes for trade executions.

But as technology has continually improved, firms have become overwhelmed with the demands. Algorithms now trade against algorithms, creating an explosion of data and a drastic increase in the demand for—not to mention the cost of—bandwidth. The only way to keep up is to continually invest in newer and better IT infrastructure.

Modern traders need to be connected at all times, and they need IT to support the 24/7 demands of global markets. In an era where trading and Big Data are synonymous, maintaining a constant connection to the world’s most important exchanges—and the data they generate—isn’t just a competitive advantage, it’s a prerequisite for survival for capital markets and trading firms. But connectivity is a major IT undertaking, requiring a network that both spans the globe and is built to the highest standards for security.

Creating a network with access to the biggest trading centres is no small feat, and there are major obstacles. For example, most companies will connect to approximately 15 – 20 locations for their market data. These global locations will include the major exchanges in New York, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and other financial centres. Compounding this substantial task is the fact that creating a global network of connected data centres also means creating a global network of backup locations. Suddenly trading firms are doubling their initial network to ensure compliance, resulting in 40 or more connection points!

This kind of network creation and data security simply isn’t the work that capital markets and trading firms have expertise with. Nor should they be spending their time on. What they really need is a connectivity platform that will let them outsource their IT so they can focus on managing their clients’ money.

The increasing role technology plays in capital markets has improved the exchange of wealth, but at the same time it has presented new problems.

To address these challenges, CenturyLink’s IQ®+ Financial provides a platform that connects to a global network of over 50 data centres all over the world with the speed, security and reliability required of today’s non-stop markets.

Leveraging a global connectivity platform means users connect once for access to the entire network. Similar to subscribing to cable, capital markets firms need only plug in to the IQ+ Financial network to access to every market “channel” being offered. This eliminates the need to find and create endpoints individually or worry about backup compliance. Additionally, while data continues to grow, trading firms don’t have to worry about capacity or scale.

For more information, visit

1ashAsh Mathur is the Regional Vice President and Managing Director of CenturyLink Canada and is responsible for leading CenturyLink’s overall sales, operations and growth in Canada. Ash also has served as a member of the Conference Board of Canada, ITAC and St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation. He holds a MBA and B.Sc. Honours from the University of Toronto.

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