By Russ Glisker, Ariadne Associates, LLC
Bloomberg has recently described its plans for moving Barclays Point into the Bloomberg PORT environment. For the first time since the deal was announced, these descriptions have given Point users a reasonably clear view into the future and a basis for planning how to deal with these significant changes.
Bloomberg’s plans give clients cause for optimism, describing a “lift and shift” approach to migrating essentially all Point functions and features into PORT. Further, existing data loading processes will still be able to be used.
Taken at face value, clients can expect to continue using Point as they currently do, so if they’re happy now, they should be in the future. However, this may be something of a Pollyanna perspective. “Lift and shift” sounds simpler than it is, particularly given the one-year timeframe to perform the migration and allow time for clients to move to the new environment. People that use Point are generally pretty risk savvy, and should recognize that this seamless transition cannot be taken for granted. Additional uncertainties emerge as one looks further into the future, such as commercial terms several years down the road.
Some firms have already decided to move away from Point, and have identified or are in the process of identifying replacements. Other firms are still assessing the possible impact and considering options. For this latter group of firms, several steps are of immediate relevance.
- Clearly articulate requirements in the functional areas served by Point. It’s important to distinguish between how Point is used and what’s really necessary. Some capabilities are essential to the business while others may be used just because they’re there.
- Explicitly evaluate the risks and consequences of the Bloomberg transition. The greater the exposure, as reflected in the scope and importance of processes supported by Point, the more imperative it becomes to have “Plan B” available and ready to activate if concerns develop over the continued use of Point.
- Identify likely alternatives (including products already in-house) for each functional area addressed by Point. Replacing Point, if it comes to that, should be treated as a strategic opportunity to create a more effective and cost efficient stable of products.
With less than a year remaining with the status quo, it behooves firms, if they haven’t already done so, to take stock of their situation and assess options. If Point is not mission-critical, there’s more leeway to wait and watch the situation unfold. It’s an enviable position in today’s environment of lean staffs not looking for additional work that may in the end prove unnecessary. If Point is a mission-critical resource, however, the situation is quite different. The firm must consider a range of scenarios involving possible changes to Point functions as they’re migrated to PORT and the consequences to the firm’s business-critical processes. The better the preparations, the more likely a favorable outcome.
In any case, as we enter this final year of Barclays Point, this is probably the first time where there’s enough information to perform a reasonably sound analysis, anticipate outcomes and make preparations.
Russ Glisker is the founder of Ariadne Associates, LLC. Since 2005, Ariadne has provided subject matter expert consulting in the areas of performance measurement, attribution and risk management for leading U.S. and global investment firms, performing projects in the U.S. and Europe. Russ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.