The rise of the infrastructure specialist

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Capital markets firms are spending rather hefty sums of money on IT trading infrastructures across multiple asset classes this year. Not surprisingly, techies with expertise in this area are finding their services highly in demand.

Globally, firms are likely to spend $13.4bn on trading infrastructures, including data servers, servers, storage and networking, according to a new report from Tabb Group. This is across equities, fixed income, FX, derivatives, commodities and other capital markets businesses it says.

Tabb's report suggests the ultimate aim of this investment is to simplify these infrastructures.

"Unfortunately, there is no perfect architecture, but by understanding the relationships between latency, bandwidth, scalability and cost, the latest and greatest networking technology can underpin an infrastructure that delivers the highest possible ROI. That technology exists today; but since money never sleeps, neither can the men and women designing the networks of tomorrow," says Kevin McPartland, Tabb senior analyst and author of the report.

Banks currently hiring infrastructure professionals include Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura and RBS, according to IT recruitment sources.

Generally speaking, though, there's a renewed appetite for recruiting infrastructure expertise, suggests Adam Pizzie, manager - IT at Robert Walters.

"In the first half of the year the focus was very much on recruiting development staff," he says. "Now, banks are telling us that they are shifting towards recruiting for infrastructure roles, and we're seeing increasing numbers of mandates for network migration specialists and project and programme managers to lead this work."

There's also a lot of contract roles coming to market, with rates coming in at 500-650 a day, or 700-750 a day for programme or project managers, suggests Oliver Welch, manager of the contract division at 752 Solutions.

"Banks are facing a range of issues around data centre efficiency, migration, the siloing of information and an increasing move towards virtualisation," he says. "Of the back of this, we're seeing huge demand for infrastructure project managers, infrastructure architects and database administrators."