Here Comes HTML5 for Financial Markets (Greenwich Associates)


Came across this white paper from Greenwich Associates (from Jun 15) on the adoption of HTML5 within financial markets.

The report is based on interviews with 149 financial institutions, and found that technologists are rapidly shifting their focus toward the application needs of users, rather than the underlying operating system (OS). The focus is now on ‘The cloud, HTML5 and mobile’ (as was clearly identified in Caplin’s HTML5 in 2013: Where Next?  and Trading on the move white papers).

HTML5, is swiftly proving itself by delivering native, real-time financial applications that are OS and device agnostic. However, many who are unsure about even the near-term future of their OS and device requirements still aren’t devising an HTML5 strategy. This lack of planning may leave many ill-prepared for an OS or device upheaval within their firm.

Windows 7 still main desktop OS within finance, and on the trading floor, with some 18% still relying on Windows XP, as shown by table below:

Desktop operating system

Desktop OS (Source Greenwich Survey)

However, only 17% of those surveyed planned to extend or upgrade their usage of Windows 8 in the next few years.

Apple has seized the opportunity to build a 22% market share among respondents. It has succeeded in key areas where Windows 8 has struggled, primarily by improving reliability, performance and ease of use. Even the largest banks are starting to create standard Mac builds for their employees. This is most evident in a breakdown of the respondents in technology roles at buy-side and sell-side firms. A quarter of this group indicated that they use Mac OS, while less than 10% use Windows 8.

BYOD policies with contractual caveats to ensure compliance and security, has enabled Apple’s iPhone to grab an 87% market share. Finance professionals can now be “plugged in” via mobile applications that were previously tied to the desktop.

BYOD

Mobile device approved for BYOD (Greenwich Survey)

BYOD is pushing financial firms to invest in applications that can be deployed across the various mobile devices their employees use.

Implementing an HTML5 Strategy
HTML5 is already demonstrating superior benefits for financial professionals, especially those who rely on native performance in applications. HTML5 provides the multimedia-rich experiences demanded by today’s users and the swift performance needed to compete in fast-paced markets. Additionally, HTML5 is an industry standard that is free from vendor control (unlike Oracle-owned Java) and agnostic of a single OS or device.

The benefits of moving applications to HTML5 are clear, but there is little sense of market urgency with only 40% of respondents reporting an HTML5 strategy in place.

Paired with the lack of commitment to Microsoft after 2017, this statistic becomes particularly surprising. Just 38% of respondents who aren’t committed to Microsoft after 2017 have an HTML5 strategy in place. Moving away from Microsoft doesn’t require applications to be built using HTML5, but the OS agnostic nature of HTML5 would certainly ease the burden of such a shift.

The report found that planning on the buy side to be particularly soft, with just over a quarter of respondents confirming an HTML5 strategy. Meanwhile, the pressure to innovate has fallen to the sell side, as dealers must redefine their role in today’s markets.

Not only do sales traders need to infiltrate the buy side’s self-directed, algorithmic execution, they must be at the cutting edge of financial technology.

As HTML5 sparks a new frontier for financial applications, the sell side and fintech vendors are leading the charge at 39% and 42%, respectively.

Accessing an application from a Windows 7 desktop at work, and then your iPhone after you leave the office is the next frontier in financial services technology.

HTML5 strategies are no longer proactive, they’re imperative.

Some of the largest banks have started HTML5 working groups to reprogram existing applications and lay out the framework for future development efforts. Now is the time to implement an HTML5 strategy to ensure stability in the increasingly fragmented mobile and OS landscape.

Full report available via subscription here

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