7 March 2015
I recently had the opportunity to attend the analyst day at Capgemini in Chicago. It was certainly time well spent, as it provided me interesting insight into the functioning of a leading capital market technology firm. It was also useful as I was able to step back from my day to day work in technology related to capital markets, and understand some of the latest trends in technology for both the overall financial services and also for non-financial firms such as energy companies, retail firms and even firms in the entertainment industry. Having such a perspective allowed me to contextualize the recent innovations and technological developments in the capital markets that I write and consult about, and which we discuss on a day to day basis with our clients and other industry participants. We often forget the potential for cross-fertilization of ideas across all industries, and also the deep impact that some of the technological changes have on our day-to-day lives. The analyst day also provided me an understanding of the evolution of Capgemini as a technology firm and how it has matured as one in the last decade or so. From a firm that used to meet the bespoke IT needs of its clients, it has moved onto becoming a system integrator and then even a business partner for many of its clients in the new initiatives that they have planned related to technology. It is an interesting example of how the entire industry has evolved and how IT firms are becoming much greater risk-takers and partners in new technological initiatives, as opposed to being mere service providers they were earlier. With regard to their capital market capabilities, there was an interesting discussion of a recent derivatives trading system implementation, where Capgemini helped to integrate and streamline the trading systems of their client, while upgrading the same in the process. It highlighted Capgemini's capability to manage and enhance vital IT platforms as a strategic partner for its clients.