SOURCE: Armanta


January 06, 2010 09:53 ET

Armanta Names Top Five IT Moves Financial Institutions Must Make in 2010

MORRISTOWN, NJ--(Marketwire - January 6, 2010) - Armanta, Inc., a software platform that enables financial institutions to build customized decision support applications for solving complex business problems, today named its top five actions financial institutions must take in 2010 to improve transparency, reduce operational risk and thrive in uncertain markets. Armanta's "Top Five" addresses the ability for firms to react quickly to market changes, by enabling deeper insight into firm exposures and cross-departmental activities.

"The financial crisis revealed that many, if not all, major financial institutions have patchwork infrastructures that make it extremely difficult to understand the firm's market and counterparty exposures. The crisis may be over, but the data integration problems are fundamental," said Peter J. Chirlian, Armanta Chief Executive Officer. "Armanta's Top Five suggests positive operational changes firms should make to highlight their exposures across business units, improve their market reaction times, and simplify reporting for investors and regulators."

#1 -- Come to Terms with Your Firm's Patchwork Infrastructure

Although financial institutions spend billions annually on IT, one area that has been consistently neglected is cross-departmental integration -- a fact that makes it extremely difficult for firms to accurately assess their firm-wide exposures in a crisis. Institutions have tried unsuccessfully to integrate silos of information in separate business units, and instead have been left with a patchwork infrastructure of mainframes, databases, software applications and hardware. In 2010, firms need to look at solutions that will bridge the divide and produce data that is accurate and meaningful.

#2 -- Reduce Your Firm's Systemic IT Risk

Patchwork infrastructures produce questionable, and sometimes unreliable, data. This can cause a domino effect of bad decisions throughout an organization, which can have devastating systemic shocks not only for the firm, but also for the economy. The key is integration, but firm-wide integration projects are often overwhelming, expensive to undertake in house, and doomed to fail. In the coming year, organizations should seek flexible technology that both integrates and provides decision-support tools, to ensure the information that decision makers are receiving provides an accurate picture of the firm's exposures.

#3 -- Create Integrated Systems for New Products

A fast-moving and responsive financial firm can develop thousands of new products in a short period of time. The mistake many firms make is in allowing business units to develop spreadsheet-based systems to manage those products. In an already fragmented IT organization, spreadsheets that sit on people's desktops are difficult to integrate: This is dangerous because particularly complex products can carry risks that don't get figured into the organization's firm-wide view of its exposures. In 2010, organizations should commit to ensuring that the technology used to support new products is both flexible enough to foster real innovation as well as robust enough to ensure appropriate transparency within the organization.

#4 -- Mandate Executive-Level Dashboards for Key Decision Makers

Decision makers need tools that enable them to harness key information and analytical tools in a timely, accurate, and business-spanning manner. The impact of poor integration can diminish market reaction times, and make it impossible to create meaningful 'what-if' scenarios. In the coming year, financial institutions should seek out solutions that provide both integration -- to improve data quality -- and executive-level dashboards to facilitate incisive decision making and improved market reactions, in a crisis as well as on a daily basis. Businesses will need to prove to both commercial and governmental bodies that they have IT solutions deployed that are robust enough to manage complex risks and flexible enough to be extended as innovation occurs.

#5 -- Improve the Quality and Delivery of Client Reporting

Existing client reporting mechanisms have been engineered to meet the lowest acceptable standard; this has saved firms money and enabled them to operate with a minimum of transparency. However, clients have grown tired of operating in the dark and are putting increasing pressure on brokers and asset managers to provide greater transparency. Firms that can give their clients genuine transparency will improve their competitiveness; those that don't will lose market share. In 2010 and beyond, firms need to radically shift their approach to client reporting, providing clients with dynamic tools that enable true data mining as well as analytical capabilities.

About Armanta

Armanta is a state-of-the-art software platform that enables financial institutions to build customized decision support applications for solving complex business problems. The platform integrates all the required technology components for these applications into one unparalleled product that works across the front- to back-office. Armanta was founded in 2001 by experienced financial services and technology experts who worked with some of the most complex products and processes in financial services. The software platform they developed enables top asset management firms, large multi-strategy hedge funds, prime brokers, investment banks, and pension funds to build applications and solve problems in areas such as portfolio management, trading, compliance, credit risk and market risk. For more information about Armanta visit

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