Proximity and the London Stock Exchange

By: Colt Technology Services - 10/05/2011

Colt is the information delivery platform, enabling its customers to deliver, share, process and store their vital business information. It is an established leader in delivering integrated network, data centre, voice and IT services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers worldwide.

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Finextra managed to grab a couple of minutes with Nigel Harold, head of technology business development at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) during the TradeTech event in London this month. He says positive things about Colt’s data centre and managed service delivery for the LSE, which is good to hear.  It’s also encouraging to understand how proximity servers enable the LSE to provide choice for its trading partners in how they transact across the exchange, particularly in the context of high frequency trading and the IT responsibility the goes with it.

‘Choice’ is an interesting issue in a commercial environment.  In the case of the LSE the relationship between choice and a business benefit are clear.  Choice enables the LSE to offer a wider range of services to a wider range of clients – most notably “...firms in the US that had previously avoided European exchanges...starting to come over and deploy those to trading strategies in Europe.”

But can you have too much choice? According to Simon Wardley vendors can create a confusion of choice (http://blog.gardeviance.org) “Examples of confusion of choice can be found from light-bulbs to mobile phone contracts. Walk into your average electrical department store, go to the light bulb counter and ask yourself - "Do I really need a choice between 200 lightbulbs and bewildering array of styles, plug formats, power outputs, swirly bits of glass, shapes etc? Didn't we use to have less choice and wasn't it easier to make a decision then?"

Finding this balance between too much choice and not enough has been testing vendors since the industrial revolution. As IT departments move to an as-a-service model - this juggling act is now entering the corporate IT arena as well.

It’s an issue we remain acutely aware of and vigilant about with our customers, particularly as we move towards wider adoption of cloud computing models. It’s also something we have asked businesses across Europe about and look forward to sharing with in May with the launch of our European CIO Cloud Research, 2011.  Watch this space!


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