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Less is more

F.Y. Teng | April 16, 2012
Insights of the CTO of HK-based global trading house 8 Securities on the value of the cloud.

Cedric Roll, CTO, 8 Securities
Cedric Roll, CTO, 8 Securities

In an interview with MIS Asia, CTO of Hong Kong-based 8 Securities Cedric Roll told us why his organisation is unlike any other online brokerage out there, its strategic differences in approach to business and technology-which incorporate the best of the traditional and the new media and channels-and how it is going about its global business expansion. Roll, who has been in the business of running technology in the financial services industry for more than a decade, stressed the value of going the way of the cloud in his business, and explained why 8 Securities is most likely to stay with its services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the long term.

Talk about the challenges unique to your business and how they translate into specific IS needs for your company?
For many years, online brokers have delivered more and more complex trading tools and expanded their content. Their premium products are developed as fat clients, as opposed to Rich Internet Application (RIA), delivering complex charting packages with 250 plus technical indicators whereby each has its own 20 different settings, overwhelming amounts of data, complicated trading modules etc. This results in too many choices that cause more confusion. This is the "Paradox of Choice: Why more is less" (2004, by Barry Schwartz).

8 Securities' approach follows an opposite trend where less is more. We deliver our services using RIA. We guide our clients in building their trading station based on their profiles. Our clients are always just one-click away from placing a trade.

Multiple sources of content are filtered, aggregated and presented in a way that is consistent for our clients. The navigation offers multiple paths to action, it is direct and intuitive. Overall, we deliver great user experience for our clients.

Investors are social animals. They were early adopters of forums and bulletin boards.

Despite complex predictive mathematical modeling, trading is still very much influenced by human behaviour like the collective euphoria or fear, cognitive biases, herding, framing, heuristic among others. Behavioural finance provides an insight in this reality. With rich social networks, the modern investors deserve better than just a bulletin board.

Hence, 8 Securities brings to its clients the most advanced social tools and methods to enrich their trading experience with applications and services that we develop on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. We deliver a rich ecosystem where those social interactions can grow and can be leveraged as part of the investment decision. An important point is the high level of credibility of the 8 Securities community. Our members don't only talk the talk but they also walk the walk. They don't only talk about finance but they trade with their own assets. The result is a set of advanced social tools fully integrated with trading, as well as highly credible social content and membership. Being online brokers, we want to be able to react quickly to unforeseen market conditions and keep our costs down in order to offer competitive prices for our clients.

 

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