Nasdaq’s 2021 tech trends report spotlights cloud encryption, SaaS, SoCs

Nasdaq published its fifth annual report on the technology trends that are having the most impact on capital markets, and an outlook for the year ahead. The events of 2020 demonstrate the importance of maintaining resiliency, capacity, performance, immediacy and security, and the focus of this year’s Nasdaq Decodes report is on the technologies and recent innovations that build, drive and support operational excellence.

In this report, Nasdaq highlights the four key trends that are reflected in its priorities:

First, systems on chips (SoCs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are not new, but recent innovations in this space are exciting. Notably, Nasdaq’s team is seeing the rise of Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) architecture for central processing units (CPUs) and advancements in graphics processing units (GPUs) and machine learning optimized chips. These innovations allow the exchange to build more efficient trading systems, deliver better performance, reduce complexity, lower the cost of end products, increase profitability and add new features that differentiate its products. These innovations are having a profound impact on Nasdaq’s business – and the financial services industry as a whole – especially as the industry migrates to the cloud.

Second, edge cloud is reducing reliance on centralized processing (processing performed in one computer or in a cluster of coupled computers in a single location), bringing greater scale and performance to consumers in an increasingly connected world. Nasdaq sees myriad practical use cases outside of financial services such as in internet of things (IoT), vehicular applications and drone applications. In the financial services industry, edge cloud can support workflows designed to evolve customer engagement models and provide deeper insights from data, as well as enable hybrid cloud strategies.

Third, the powerful combination of cloud, federated learning and homomorphic encryption could potentially overcome regulatory and other barriers to sharing and analyzing data for purposes such as fighting financial crime and improving market integrity. The cloud is a neutral, secure infrastructure for internal and external stakeholders to share, analyze and act upon data, and the hyperscale cloud providers have tools to help organizations do it. With federated learning, organizations can share insights without actually sharing data. Moreover, homomorphic encryption is emerging as a technology that can allow organizations to share data, retain complete control over who can access or perform analysis on that data, and own auditability of that process.

Fourth, the adoption of the software-as-a-service model (SaaS) in the cloud is rapidly accelerating. Financial institutions and marketplaces are finding that SaaS makes it much faster and cost effective to onboard clients and upgrade and deliver new products. SaaS in the cloud contributes to Nasdaq’s resiliency and security because it alleviates some of the potential risk of downtime in their own data centers. Deploying infrastructure as code allows the exchange to manage and define the desired state of its technology infrastructure using configuration files, and determine the security configuration before it is deployed in a public cloud.

Read the full report

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