2.5 SUPPORTING UNITS

Among the support functions most critical to a quantitative developer is information technology. They handle all the access rights, network and hardware procurement, performance and disposal, licence management for software and similar functions. In most organizations, IT teams have software projects handling eCommerce, transaction banking, etc. Information technology has projects cutting across the whole operation of the banks, rather than just trading. In fact, it is possible to organize quantitative developers also under the purview of IT, although such an organization de-emphasizes the special niche they fill as cross-domain specialists. IT projects tend to run as replicas of large-scale software efforts in standardized development mode, churning through the phases of requirements, design, implementation, version control, unit and user acceptance tests, release cycles, etc. This mode of operation, while robust and reliable, may not be nimble enough to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

The finance department handles all aspects of cash management in the bank. They are also responsible for accurate assessment and presentation of the net position of the bank, for instance in annual reports and regulatory disclosures. The numbers that they generate, though distant from our arena of the bank, depend on the trades the front office engages in and the systems we deploy to support them.

Other groups that may look equally distant include human resources, ...

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