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Can the FX Industry Achieve ‘Business as Usual’ at these Most Unusual of Times

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By Vikas Srivastava, Chief Revenue Officer at Integral.

As novel COVID-19 has swept the globe, financial institutions can still remain focussed on trying to operate ‘business as usual’ and serve their clients. But this continuity can be achieved largely in part with access to the right technology.

We are facing the biggest black swan event of our generation. The impact of COVID-19 has surpassed all other crises in the last 50 years, at least in terms of its far-reaching impact on global economies and everyday life.

The current crisis has forced businesses of all kinds to shut their physical offices. Firms with the wherewithal to do so have now transitioned their operations and employees to a 100% remote working condition. No doubt that the impact of this disruptive event will continue to be felt professionally and personally by many people for several more weeks, if not months to come.

We should also recognize that it was no small feat for so many financial institutions to move quickly into business continuity plan (BCP) protocol. Being able to make prices and manage risk remains a business-critical mission, especially at a time when we’ve seen huge volume and volatility spikes, as well as impact on liquidity.

Yet working in BCP mode means doing all the above while also problem-solving for the load on one’s technology infrastructure, or perhaps even an inability to easily access systems remotely. Fortunately, many obstacles this time were mitigated by the fact that quite a number of firms have already moved significant parts of their infrastructure to cloud-based services.

The FX industry has yet again proven its inherent resilience and we should be very proud of our response thus far. Let’s give recognition and kudos to the teams at banks, financial institutions, and technology platforms working tirelessly to keep operations running and maintaining business continuity. Here at Integral, I was proud of the fact that our move to working remotely was practically seamless, and largely ‘business as usual’ as we focused on how to continue serving our clients.

Indeed, now is exactly the time to be focused on serving clients, and serving them well. To do this, I firmly believe that half the battle is simply having the right systems and infrastructures in place, and to be able to access it wherever you are working. Technology has a critical role to play in this prolonged period of uncertainty we find ourselves in.

I believe many of us will also be asking ourselves what exactly the new normal will be once we emerge from this period of remote working. I firmly believe that together we will get through this and emerge stronger. When we get to the other side, I would not be surprised if the banking industry begins to take a closer look at their infrastructures and their readiness for similar events in the future.

Just as one wouldn’t say “now that coronavirus isn’t a threat, I’m not going to wash my hands,” businesses will not be able to argue that cloud is still an optional item in their technology strategy.

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