Anyone working the alternative investment sector will tell you that today’s climate is a tough one to operate in. Regulators are demanding greater levels of transparency and reporting from hedge funds than ever. Margins and commissions are under pressure. Investors are scrutinising processes and ethics, as well as expecting decent returns. Global economic and political instability is more acute than it has been for many years. Under these conditions, hedge funds must rely more heavily on technology, whilst being mindful that digital services are vulnerable and increasingly prone to cyberattack.
Whilst there is an array of off the shelf software available, it can be difficult to customise and funds might have to compromise, particularly where integration with existing systems is concerned. Custom software applications could be the answer to many hedge funds’ business needs.
Contrary to popular belief, bespoke doesn’t always mean expensive. A custom application is built to a hedge fund’s exact specifications, ground-up which means it is designed to integrate with existing software. Typically cloud-based, costs are kept low by offering applications on a software as a service basis.
Forrester’s Global Tech Market Outlook For 2016 To 2017 anticipated a growth in software sales between 2016 and 2017 of around 10%, to £440bn annually, due mainly to the increased adoption of cloud and software as a service. Custom software accounts for around £59bn of this. A significant level of investment.
In a recent report, IDC agreed and said that the majority of IT spend in 2017 will go toward application development and deployment and project-oriented services.
Custom portal technology can allow firms to import data from an excel spreadsheet, still commonly used across the sector, and manipulate the data for research purposes, decision making, reporting or simply to reformat the data to be compatible with other systems. When using web portals, users simply need a browser to access critical data (with multifactor user authentication as recommended) from wherever they are. A perfect choice for firms with disparate teams or global operations. These point solutions, designed to overcome a specific requirement that your firm has, and which automate previously manual jobs can bring incredible time savings and offer huge flexibility.
With the raft of regulations that hedge funds have to comply with, many of which have a huge emphasis on cybersecurity and data protection, and the sheer volume of information that has to be reported on a regular basis, an automation solution which is built on a trusted, secure infrastructure can make a huge difference to the way a firm operates.
At the very least, it is worth having a conversation about custom software development, because whatever size or type of hedge fund you are, no matter where you’re located, a cloud-based, flexible solution could cost less than you think.