IBM’s New Fintech Trading Floor

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IBM’s new Watson, Garage, and Design Studios in Singapore mark a radical departure for how IBM engages its clients.   For those in IT this engagement model may be new, but as a former banker it feels very familiar, IBM built a floor for

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IBM has captured a trading floor’s sense of immediacy, focus on talent, and culture of collaboration

Now let me immediately dispel any notions that IBM is buying and selling like stocks and bonds, it isn’t.  You won’t find traders on the phone selling software licenses or servers.  What you will find is that IBM has captured a trading floor’s sense of immediacy, focus on talent, and culture of collaboration and put these traits to work for the benefit of its clients.  It radically changes how product lines within IBM work with one another, and how we come together to work for our clients.   It is immediate, doesn’t take “no” for an answer and is focused on results.  


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAjqAAAAJDQ1YTdhMzlmLTM1MGQtNGU5YS1hN2VmLWYzZGM2MThlMzVmOAWe’re not just playing a bigger game, I thinkwe’ve invented a new game.

Need an interface developer?   There’s one in that corner.   Could this software be used to capture a certain risk management function?   Ask him, he’s an expert.  There is simply no precedent for the immediate feedback and collaboration available in the studio and how it will help shape our progress when building something new.   The new “trading floor” creates an environment where you are defined not by the limitations of your own knowledge, but by your ability to harness the imagination of the vast pool of talent around you.  We’re not just playing a bigger game, I think we’ve invented a new game.  

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Our clients come in and sit with us..…and are free to reimagine their bank without limit

So why is this a breakthrough for Fintech?   Fintech isn’t a specific product or technology, it is discipline that borrows technology from anywhere it can to reimagine finance.  The new trading floor makes this easier than ever.  Our clients come in and sit with us on the trading floor and are free to reimagine their bank without limit.  There are no traditional silos, or cubicle walls, nothing at all that would prevent a banker from talking to a social media expert, or the other way around.   Its not about the technology that you know about, its about the technology that you didn’t know existed being brought to you by the people who work with it everyday.  

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All of my clients, no matter how senior, now work in technology, they just don’t know it yet

There is a paradigm shift underway in finance.   All of my banking clients, no matter how senior, now work in technology; they just don’t know it yet.  The convergence of finance and technology is so new, that many haven’t realized the full extent to which design thinking is reimagining the future of finance.  What is already clear is that it’s the re-engineering of technology to serve finance that is driving the process.  Cellphones weren’t made for banking, but with re-engineering do it very well.   Our “fintech trading floor” is designed to speed the process of re-engineering and get bankers using the latest tech that IBM has to offer.  

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“you are defined not by the limitations of your own knowledge, but by your ability to harness the imagination of the vast pool of talent around you “

I feel that I’ve now come full circle in my career back to where I started.  I have to confess that I’ve always missed the buzz and excitement of the trading floor.  Its great to be back, and even greater to know that I’ll be playing a small part in helping to reimagine the future of banking.  

 IBM Watson Centre, Garage & Design Studio open in Singapore

IBM Takes Watson to Asia


 is Fintech evangelist transforming and changing paradigms and this article was originally published on linkedin.