OMS: Managing Drift

Had a very interesting conversation recently with a group of senior buy-side technologists.  I was asked what is most important from the perspective of relationship management with the front office.  My answer was "Managing drift".

By this I mean something simple but which is rarely considered.  At the point of implementation of a new OMS there is a project team to deliver the business requirements and reach the target of sign-off on go-live from the business sponsor.  What is seldom considered is the drift in delivery capability versus the ongoing business requirements. 

As an example, at go-live there is a requirement to deliver connectivity to say, 5 futures brokers, 50 equity brokers, two fixed income platforms and one FX platform.  Over time brokers move into and out of the firm counterparty list and these are added or removed from the list of counterparties.  That a business-as-usual activity and since these are small projects they tend to just occur organically.

But who keeps up to date with the delivery capabilities of the OMS?  Who is rethinking the implementation of the OMS?  As an example, a popular buy-side OMS has rethought the counterparty restriction module.  This redesign makes the ongoing management of restrictions a lot easier for the buy-side but it requires some investment to understand these changes and to implement them.  Once implemented the cost of maintaining the platform is reduced, so this can make sense from the bottom-line perspective.

Managing drift of business requirements, systems capabilities and the delivery capability of the firm is essential to success...