Considering the economic climate financial-services firms find themselves in today, it wouldn't be a shock to anyone if this year's Securities Industry Association's Technology Show and Exhibit was a shadow of its former self. According to Art Trager, SIA vice president and managing director of technology and operations, that will not be the case. Trager says that attendance, compared to years gone by, is par with the boom times the industry saw a few years ago, and the number of exhibitors is as high as ever at 255.
Some main themes running through the conference track this year include business-continuity planning and disaster recovery, T+1/STP and offshore outsourcing. Other sessions will focus on what companies are doing with the remnants of Bridge and a discussion about the increasingly popular technology of instant messaging.
Underlying all session, however, is the difficult state of the economy and the reality of having to spend more wisely. Thus, the show's theme is "The New Reality," a reality which Trager says requires better technology choices with limited funds.
"This is a new reality because people are doing things differently than they were two years ago when things were booming," he says. "Things are tight and people are being more careful because they have to do more with less." The show, says Trager, is a good place to start making better technology decisions, as vendors from every technology nook and cranny showcase their wares to potential buyers. For efficiency, since the exhibit covers three floors, Trager recommends planning ahead, looking over the floor map and checking off the top vendors on your personal list. Once all "must sees" have been visited, then it's time to do a leisurely stroll to check out what's new.