Conor Twomey is Head of Customer Success and Managing Director Americas at KX, a division of FD Technologies. He says that technology-led companies thrived during the pandemic and that there are opportunities to be explored.
Note: This piece was originally published in Business & Finance magazine, vol. 59, no. 1, available to read, with compliments, here.
Much like the rest of the world, COVID has been a catalyst for change on an unfathomable scale here in the Americas – and like always – where there’s disruption, you’ll find opportunity.
Companies that are data-driven and technology-led really thrived during the pandemic. These companies proved to be agile enough to scale down and scale back up again as needed, as well as being nimble enough to pivot and exploit the opportunities that presented (and continue to present) themselves.
FD Technologies, Ireland’s largest indigenous technology company, benefited in a number of ways.
The first wave of activity was within the KX software division where we witnessed a tactical ‘call to arms’ from the industry for better and more effective technology. Clients who had been using “good enough” decision-making solutions found that “good enough” wasn’t able to handle the complexity of decisions needed to navigate through industry volatility. KX is a difference maker for companies when decisions really matter and we work with world-class organisations globally covering everything from track-side analytics for F1 race teams to preventing fraud for online gaming companies, to preventative maintenance for high-end manufacturing facilities and, where we started, powering the trading and risk engines of 39 of the 40 investment banks on the planet.
The second wave really boosted our services division, now called First Derivative, as capital adequacy requirements waned and client spending returned with a large backlog of unfinished and/or unstarted projects. Coupled with the skills shortage caused by The Great Resignation, it was truly a perfect storm of opportunity for leading providers of domain knowledge and technical expertise in the financial services sector.
The third wave of activity which we’re experiencing now is all about strategic technology modernization. This has been accelerated greatly by the adoption of cloud technology where cloud isn’t just a destination for infrastructure but represents a new way of agile thinking and development in the technology space. In our services division this is manifesting itself in contracts for projects around data governance, data discovery/cataloguing, DevOps and cloud adoption. In the software space, we’re seeing a big push for event-driven architectures to allow organisations to capture datasets and drive better mission critical decision-making in every aspect of what they do.
The need for continuous intelligence has never been greater and we’re still only scratching the surface of opportunity in taking our world leading technology from Wall Street to Main Street.