Traditionally, Wall Street has been a bastion of the mainframe computer. But advances in technology, the industry's increasingly aggressive use of it, and indisputable cost advantages are encouraging more firms to begin the evolution to new platforms.
Higher trading volumes and widespread use of sophisticated trading algorithms require nimbler, more sophisticated and more cost-effective technical solutions, and evolutions in technology have made available alternatives to mainframe systems. As a result, says Wall Street and Technology, "modernization seems inevitable."
At the same time, the generation of IT professionals who are expert in mainframe computing are closing in on retirement. The younger tech staff replacing them have focused their training on providing newer solutions. A large number of technology firms - including Oracle, Unisys and Fujitsu - are offering migration paths away from the mainframe world.
Some financial-tech executives say securities firms and investment banks have become more sophisticated in their approach to technology. "It's a big cultural and technological change, but the workload has been dripping off the mainframe for quite some time now," Dale Vecchio, vice president of Gartner's application development research group, told the magazine.
"Users or customers have become much more sophisticated in their understanding of technology, and they have a higher expectation. They are much more demanding of the technology," Yacov Wrocherinsky, chief executive of Infinity Info Systems, an IT consulting firm catering to financial services companies, says. "The younger generations, when they get into the workforce, will make the baseline even higher."