2014: In Review

John Lehner, President and CEO Eagle Investment Systems

indexHockey great Wayne Gretzky was once quoted as saying, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” If there was a budding trend that we saw in 2014, it’s that investment firms are increasingly taking the “Wayne Gretzky” approach to their technology. They see where the world is going; understand that their legacy systems will be hard-pressed to keep up; and they’re seeking out an answer, not for next year, but rather a solution that can grow and evolve in lockstep with their business and the industry over time. Effectively, they want to play where the puck will be ten years out and longer, which, for many, has led them to the agility and scalability offered through Eagle’s data-centric model.

In a lot of ways, this renewed look to the future made 2014 a seminal year for Eagle. Two years ago, at our client conference, we had predicted that in 24 months over half of our clients would be deployed via Eagle ACCESSSM, our secure private cloud. This may have seemed like a bold prediction at the time, although when we surpassed that threshold last year, a number of conspiring factors made such a prediction seem obvious in hindsight.

Among those drivers, clients want to access their data anywhere at anytime, available across their entire enterprise; they need the ability to seamlessly integrate with other third-party vendors; they require capacity on demand (think petabytes, not gigabytes); and they want to lower their capex, particularly as the cost of IT escalates higher every year, all while business demands press their legacy systems up against their capabilities. We will often encounter an investment firm whose IT and technology staff outnumber their investment teams, their sales teams and their respective support staff – it makes you wonder what business they are really in.

Nearly every new client who signed on with Eagle last year opted to deploy through Eagle ACCESSSM, while several existing clients, who had previously used Eagle software on premise, made the move to migrate to our secure, private cloud.

Two years ago, we recognized the drivers that pushed more and more clients to seek a hosted solution. Today, though, we are starting to observe additional trends that are pushing clients even further along the software-hosting continuum.

A number of clients last year, for instance, sought to go beyond our hosted offering to engage Eagle for a co-sourced solution, matched to their specific business needs. In most cases, clients wanted to re-dedicate their resources to the front office, so they outsourced a number of back- and middle-office functions to Eagle. Others, meanwhile, opted for a fully outsourced solution through BNY Mellon’s OnCoreSM platform, underpinned by Eagle’s technology.

The drivers motivating clients to outsource their data needs can be summed up by what we internally refer to as the Four S’s: Skillset, Stability, Scalability and Security.

Clients are looking to refocus on their core competencies of investing, so they are seeking best-of-breed outsourcing vendors with the right skillset to oversee their data and technology. Coming out of the downturn, asset managers held a defensive mindset; today they are thinking growth, so scalability is critical as investors move into new markets and new strategies, and seek to do so seamlessly and efficiently. They recognize that getting the technology right can be a tremendous undertaking, which makes stability such a critical component, particularly as clients have long-term solutions in mind. And with every passing week and every new data breach that gets splashed across the headlines, their disinclination to take on this risk themselves only grows, putting security foremost on their minds.

It’s back to the Wayne Gretzky corollary, as clients are thinking five and ten years out rather than from quarter to quarter or year to year. So while 2014 was a seminal year for Eagle, we are even that much more excited about 2015 and beyond, as clients look to move further down the continuum of their investment technology solution needs – whether it be data management, performance, accounting, or all three.

One Response to 2014: In Review
  1. […] the market and technology are gravitating. As our chairman John Lehner wrote two years ago, the Wayn... eagle-exchange.com/eagles-cloud-native-journey

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