Modernizing Trading Systems – Part 2 – Data Migration, System Integration and Quality Assurance
In the previous blog, we discussed benchmarking existing systems and selection of trading system package for a successful migration. In this blog, I’ll cover data migration, system integration and quality assurance.
Step 3 – Data migration
The most important and difficult activity during a trade system modernization is the migration of data from existing system to new system. The four main types of data to be migrated include trade data, static data, cash flow data and data describing the detailed operations/ actions/ events that were applied on the trade itself. All this data has to be carefully extracted from the existing system, enriched and transformed to match the data structure of the new system, and then loaded into the new system.
The above piece of work is highly complex in nature. A good way to achieve efficiencies in data migration is by using battle-tested and proven ETL programs/procedures/migration utilities which are written exclusively for the migration sequence in a project. Certain system implementation partners like Mindtree have proprietary accelerators that de-risk and simplify the data migration. These system implementers usually support the organization all through the implementation of the new trading platform, along with active inputs from the software vendor’s expert team.
Data migration can be classified as simple or complex depending on the amount of supplementary development required in addition to data porting.
Step 4 – Integration of core and peripheral systems
Some organizations might require a large number of batch reports and real-time interfaces to be developed as part of the trade migration project. Further, there could be additional data related to user rights and access provisioning, real-time interfaces connectivity to upstream/ downstream systems, end-user UI customization and batch reports, which also have to be migrated.
The role of an experienced system integrator (SI) in development and delivery will prove invaluable. An experience SI usually brings to the table a trusted suite of tools, utilities, accelerators, frameworks and best practices that de-risk migration by targeting specific streams (say reports and interfaces), thereby reducing delivery time and costs by about 20%-30%.
As an example, the SI might make use of a report migration tool to rapidly design and build a working report in the project, taking inputs automatically from the existing report definition. This significantly reduces the time to build, iterate and go live.
Thus, an experienced SI will help organizations meet their goals and objectives, on time and within budgets.
Step 5 – Quality assurance
All the pieces newly developed for modernization has to be thoroughly tested and integrated to the system delivered by the software vendor. A healthy approach to testing the trading systems is to use a scalable and modular test platform, deployed on premises or on cloud. Organizations should have a clearly defined test strategy which includes functional testing, performance testing, test automation and framework, user acceptance testing and interface testing. They should also leverage specific tools and accelerators to de-risk, reduce timelines and increase quality of the build. Some examples of the tools include:
- Test automation tool – End-to-end test tool which validates multiple scenarios and test cases to provide rich information to the project on the overall quality of the build and test coverage (data generation etc.)
- Reconciliation tool – A tool to reconcile data/report outputs from two specific systems with similar characteristics. This activity is time consuming and cumbersome and would greatly help in detecting any regression issues in the system.
In the next part of this blog series, we will look at real world examples of successful trade system migrations.