TradeTech FX: Open standards for front-office technology essential for hybrid working

Panellists agreed open standards and desktop interoperability are essential to ensure front-office technology evolves to meet the demands of the hybrid working environment.

Collaboration through open standards is essential for front-office technology in a post-pandemic world, a TradeTech FX panel has found.

Panellists were united in their view that desktop interoperability was key to minimising the amount of screen real estate needed to work remotely.

The global pandemic forced the majority of the industry into remote working conditions, overnight. While most participants have returned to their offices, the aftermath of lockdown is hybrid working and this has put a strain on both the technology and culture of some firms.

“Working from home needs to be as efficient but without six screens. We still need to have that value add for clients of all that additional data, and that’s where desktop interoperability comes in,” said product area lead for FX technology at Fidelity Investments, David Shack.

However, key to this desktop essential interoperability is open standards, the panel agreed. These can be used to ensure communication between systems and to ensure an efficient layer process of trade decision making both internally in buy-side workflows and in their workflow that connects them to their counterparties on the sell-side. However, not all technology providers use these standards.

“As a provider we are open to our analytics being used in another EMS or OMS. Having open standards is important. In some cases, data is being held back,” said Ruben Costa-Santos, head of multi-asset analytics at Virtu Financial.

Communication was noted as another essential element to the hybrid working model with some panellists noting that in light of greater automation systems’ workflows needed pop ups or alerts to communicate that a trade had been corrected or stopped.

“Apps need to be able to share data between themselves. We need to embrace open standards to help them talk to each other,” added Shack.