Hedge Fund Technology Mistakes You Don’t Even Realize You’re Making
Treating technology as a utility
Technology is not just a necessary utility, it is an enabler for innovation, competition and increased efficiency. Embed technology into the business planning process and use it to shape the future direction of the business. Ask questions like, how do we achieve our future vision for the business, how do we future proof our business and support agile working practices? In the highly competitive alternative investment sector, technology can bring crucial innovation that can create a competitive edge and offer investors another reason to invest, or in-demand employees a reason to choose your firm over another.
Encouraging a shadow IT situation
Many firms have strict policies in place to eliminate unauthorized technology in the corporate network, but this often has the opposite effect, encouraging employees to circumnavigate the IT department to save time, avoid unnecessarily detailed evaluations or remove the need to answer difficult questions from the “strict” CTO. Streamline your technology evaluations to speed up the approvals process and don’t dismiss requests without an explanation or authorized alternative. Forge stronger bonds with business units outside of IT. By breaking down barriers, employees will be more likely to approach you with requests rather than just going ahead and procuring their own technology.
Ignoring the firm’s culture when planning your IT strategy
A survey announced yesterday by mobile app vendor POPin among global Chief Information Officers found that 52% of CIOs blamed slow or reluctant employee adoption for the failure of technology initiatives. (Less than 8% blamed the failure of an initiative on the technology itself). 78% said that that it takes employees some time to embrace new technology and ideas. When developing an IT strategy, ensure that it not only meets the firm’s business objectives but that it also suits the firm’s culture otherwise there is very real danger of the initiative failing. Firms with an academic, quantitative bias may not adopt the same technology as firms with a more laid back, gregarious culture. During customer discussions around the call recording requirements that were imminent with the MiFID II, it became apparent that a common way of addressing the recording of client conversations on mobiles would be to simply introduce a blanket ban on the use of mobiles for business use. This sort of policy simply wouldn’t work in many firms, going completely against the culture of many businesses.
Assuming you are adequately protected against a cybersecurity attack
No firm is impervious to cyber criminals. No matter how many layers of security you have implemented; end point, network, firewalls, internet gateways, you will still have vulnerabilities, or employees as I like to call them. Be vigilant when training staff in the firm’s cybersecurity policies and procedures, make it more interesting by running mystery shopper style hacks and continually testing and reevaluating the cybersecurity strategy. Cyber crime is evolving faster than security companies can update their tools, so firms must employ smarter and more comprehensive cybersecurity strategies. Information Age yesterday reported that the most commonly used password of 2015 was, once again, 123456. Need I say more?