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Deutsche Bank open-sources code from its trading platform

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Deutsche Bank
Photo courtesy Deutsche Bank
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Deutsche Bank has released more than 150,000 lines of code from its Autobahn electronic trading platform. The company said the decision to open-source parts of the technology is intended to create a “common industry standard” for automated trading systems.

The code contains components that network “thousands” of different banking applications from across the financial services industry. It enables communication between different computer systems at banks and their customers. Called Plexus Interop, the system is part of the wider Autobahn trading platform developed by Deutsche Bank.

Cloud-based trading

The release is significant for several reasons. Deutsche Bank said it wants the code to be integrated into trading applications written by external vendors. It will offer a “shared foundation” for different trading platforms, allowing them to exchange data with each other. The result will be an interoperable, cloud-based trading network based on a common set of open-source components.

The initiative is a first for the traditionally closed financial services market. It’s a prominent example of the change being necessitated by digital transformation and new cloud platforms. Customers expect information to flow seamlessly between providers so they can harness the full potential of their data pools. The days of siloed data inside closed ecosystems are gone.

Seamless trading between platforms

If Deutsche Bank’s vision comes to fruition, trading data could seamlessly pass between different platforms. Trading platforms that include the code will talk to each other, allowing customers to get more insights from their data and make better trading decisions.

Deutsche Bank said that market participants currently have to use different services to monitor their trading activity, data and news sources. Plexus Interop offers a solution where a single platform could combine all three tasks.

The milestone release is also a step forward for Deutsche Bank’s own digital transformation. The company said it wants to be a “leader” in open-source tech within banking.

“We want to be a leader in open source technology in the banking sector,” said Peter Wharton-Hood, COO of Deutsche Bank’s Corporate & Investment Bank.

“By making this code publicly available, we aim to create a common industry standard that will deliver a faster and more convenient service to clients, strengthen controls and reduce costs.”

To many providers, the concept of releasing the code to proprietary platforms would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. However, the demand from customers for interoperable solutions has necessitated a shift towards open standards that anyone can integrate with and pull data from.

The first application to use the Plexus Interop code is Symphony, a collaboration platform that’s widely used within the financial services market. Users of the messaging service will be able to access trading data from within the app, evolving the way in which banks operate.

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Cisco: 75% of IoT projects are failing due to lack of expertise

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Three quarters of Internet of Things device implementations are failing due to a lack of expertise, says Cisco. Businesses are struggling to find IoT talent to put their forward-thinking plans into action.

The comments come from Cisco’s Australian CTO Kevin Bloch in an interview with ZDNet. They echo other recent studies that illustrate a systemic lack of skills in managing IoT devices.

Businesses across all industries recognize the potential benefits of using modern technologies. However, In mthey’re forced to abandon or scale back their plans due to technical troubles, cybersecurity issues or a fundamentally flawed vision.

Siloed data

Bloch said flawed vision for IoT is one of the main problems for implementations. Unable to source advice or find examples of successful IoT networks, companies are launching themselves into the concept without a properly formulated plan. This leads to IoT projects that are “siloed” and oriented towards specific problems.

Companies quickly realize their IoT devices are unable to interoperate, cannot be readily maintained and aren’t achieving the original design goals. The system is left to stagnate and may be switched off. Unless data can stream between IoT stacks, the entire concept is likely to fall apart.

Unfortunately, companies often don’t consider interoperability while planning their cloud strategy.

“The inaugural phase of IoT is characterised by numerous point solutions from a multitude of new – often startup – vendors. Typically, these solutions have been designed to solve a particular societal problem such as lighting or parking,” Bloch explained. “In each case, a complete IT stack needs to be built in support of the solution. Eventually customers find themselves with multiple siloes from multiple vendors that don’t interoperate, are not cybersecure, use different protocols, and generate more complexity at greater cost.”

Finding talent

According to Cisco, businesses need to gain experience in managing and interacting with IoT devices.

What’s needed is dedicated digital team leaders, responsible for designing and implementing a cohesive strategy. However, the cross-industry demand for these individuals is making it difficult for smaller firms to access the talent they need.

Cisco’s now building a new IoT foundation platform to help businesses network their devices. It can surface insights from multiple different device families irrespective of their vendor. The platform also helps to maintain cybersecurity standards to keep the network safeguarded from attack.

Bloch warned enterprises “if you don’t secure it, don’t connect it,” noting that many IoT devices leak data due to poor design.

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Developing insights leads to digital transformation success, says BGIS VP of Strategy

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Photo courtesy GoSpaces
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The most important part of digital transformation for businesses is gathering insights and using them to create more value, according to Lorri Rowlandson, Vice President of Innovation and Strategy and BGIS, a provider of real estate and technology innovation consulting.

Speaking at WORKTECH17 in Toronto in October, Rowlandson says that while a shiny new piece of technology can be useful, the most important part of digital transformation for businesses is gathering insights and using them to create more value.

Success is not some shiny new dashboard — it’s learning how to build and run a better business through insights, she says.

“Success is actually implementing some type of insight that you actually learn from the analytics. A lot of people get technology narcissism, where they care about the dashboard but they don’t actually have the skills to interpret the data and do something different.”

GoSpaces

At WorkTech, Rowlandson presented on gamification within the workplace, and how data derived from new tools that adopt game-like interfaces can be used to improve the employee experience. Gamification is already being used in consumer products such as Waze and FourSquare, but the potential of these tools to engage employees is only just being realized now.

BGIS is working with an app called GoSpaces that intends to gamify employee goals, allowing businesses to educate employees, receive regular feedback and build valuable insights to drive practical innovation.

GoSpaces functions as a “fitbit for the workplace,” says Rowlandson, providing a challenge and award system intended to boost the social, sustainable and financial outcomes of the business.

The GoSpaces app focusses on several key areas of the employee journey within the workplace:

  • Collecting feedback and service requests
  • Providing efficient reservation tools for meeting rooms
  • Tracking and rewarding daily sustainability goals such as biking, reducing paper usage or carpooling
  • Enabling hot-desking and flexible workspaces

All of this data allows businesses to mine key insights that can be used to drive innovative change. The GoSpaces app brings the feedback economy into the regular workcycle, giving businesses a better understanding of the employee journey.

Who deals with DX?

One of the biggest questions for businesses right now is who directs digital transformation, and employee-facing technology is no exception. So who drives initiatives such as GoSpaces that transform the work environment? Rowlandson points to the need for a holistic approach.

She says the importance of making sure that the head of real estate and the head of IT are working “hand in hand” helps to promote innovation.

“With a lot of cloud computing, information security, IT has their own pipeline of activities and then of course corporate real estate comes in from the outside. It gets at risk of being deprioritized.”

Corporate real estate can shape the innovation conversation, and help businesses avoid siloing when it comes to the complex process of digital transformation.

”To make sure that we’re not stalling and stifling innovation with the approval process and then becoming irrelevant,” says Rowlandson, “it’s important that they’re working together closely — closer than ever before.”

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FORMER CITI CEO: 30% of banking jobs will be wiped out in 5 years

Business Insider

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Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup from 2007-2012.
Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup from 2007-2012. Photo by Alexandre Campbell, courtesy World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup, says 30% of banking jobs could disappear within the next five years.

In an interview on Bloomberg Television, the 60-year-old Indian-American said threats from artificial intelligence and robots will “change the back office.”

“I see a banking world going from large financial institutions to one that’s a little bit more decentralized,” he told Bloomberg’s Haslinda Amin.

Pandit’s prediction is roughly in line with his former employer’s estimates. A report by Citigroup in March of last year estimated the same number — 30% — of job losses, but over a decade as opposed to just five years. The firm is already staffing up a new center to unleash robotics throughout the the bank.

Pandit helmed Citigroup for just under five years, beginning in 2007. Having led the bank through the financial crisis, and resigned in 2012. He has since founded a private equity firm called Orogen Group, where he today serves as CEO.

Many other former and current finance executives have voiced similar concerns about jobs being made redundant thanks to artificial intelligence. Last month, Axel Lehmann, COO of Swiss bank UBS, said AI would “fundamentally change the banking business.”

“I don’t want to get blindsided. It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s really alternative business models that has the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake.

This article was originally published on Business Insider. Copyright 2017.

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