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Successfully adopting new commodity trading technologies

May 24, 2019 by Lape Runsewe

Successfully adopting new commodity trading technologies

The best approach to selecting a new commodities trading technology

There are five key stages to selecting your preferred solution:

  1. Have a needs definition: Clearly define the needs of your business for both today and the future (as best you can), without taking into account any vendor capabilities.
  2. Set your requirements: Prioritize requirements by business value and validate them with your Board and senior management.
  3. Be clear about your system needs: Define your system needs, taking into account the constraints of your existing IT system and importantly, compliance considerations.
  4. Have a robust evaluation process: Evaluate software vendors or solution packages to meet your systems needs through a structured, thorough and independent request for proposal (RFP) process.
  5. Ensure process governance is in place: Establish RFP process governance and ensure that your program structure and deliverables are clearly defined and monitored throughout execution.

These are by no means all the stages required. Other aspects that should be considered include solution scalability, desired performance levels, system security and compatibility and connectivity to potential third party modules. (Source: EY)

Typical success factors for a trading technology implementation

Once you’ve selected the right vendor or technology, the story is by no means over! There are several success factors to achieving your ideal delivery outcome:

  1. Plan benefits delivery carefully: Identify and prioritise target benefits as part of not only defining the business case for your solution, but also providing clear goals as the delivery process kicks-in. Regular reviews and decision making will crop up throughout an implementation so having target benefits constantly in mind is important to enable successful decision making. This also avoids you ending up with unused or underutilised functionality!
  2. Ensure there’s a focus on business design: You need to have a well-defined trading operating model. When combined with strong design governance, a clear operating model blueprint aligns understanding across the business and project teams, guides detailed design, provides a baseline to manage future change and helps to support more effective decision making. (Source: Deloitte).
  3. Don’t shy away from investing in project assurance and delivery: Objectives and target benefits can become lost, particularly as project teams become busy on meeting tough deadlines without sufficient levels of project management and assurance. For example, your trading business analysts can help with design governance and oversight as a solution develops. Additionally, ensuring a proper definition and plan for post implementation support and development is crucial. Without this investment, the chance of long term success can be undermined as well as degrade the final experience and outcomes for end business users.

Living with your disruptive technology
Last but not least, new business models, mergers and divestments, new regulatory requirements and supporting new deal types, commodities and markets can all put stress on your systems environment.  Ensure your new system is as future-proofed as possible. And, ensure you’re comfortable with your solution partner or vendor being on hand for the journey, whether for solution extensions, upgrades or support. But also, in case not, mitigate the risks by ensuring you and your team have a contingency plan for living with the technology without them!

How Digiterre can help.
If you have any questions about the disruptive technologies of big data, machine learning and AI or are seeking a partner to assist you to harness their opportunities, do get in touch with Digiterre. Digiterre has extensive experience designing and implementing technology solutions across the energy and commodity, banking and insurance and investment management industries. We typically deliver technology solutions requiring business agility, adaptability, innovation and a proven track record in order to solve high risk, high profile and complex technical challenges, very well and very fast.

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