State-of-the-art IT is as vital to us as the skills of our traders, so IT is an integral part of trading within Optiver. We aim to run trading systems that are the fastest in the market, highly reliable and flexible enough to respond to changing market conditions and business requirements whenever necessary. When prices change on a trading platform, often the market maker that reacts first will be able to do the next trade and thus make a profit. Therefore, having strong analytical tools and the lowest latency is absolutely critical.
Since the early days of the company IT has always played a central role in our business. Optiver was among the first to bring wireless devices to the trading floor in the 80s and we have been early adapters of new technology ever since. We regard the quality of the cooperation between trading and IT and a major strategic factor.
Optiver's current systems already react within an incredibly small fraction of a second but we always continue to research and deploy innovative ideas in all IT areas. Continuous improvement remains imperative in the trading business that depends heavily on advanced technology.
As well as the cool of the new, we are also quietly proud of the scale of our IT infrastructure. We use hundreds of network devices, thousands of high spec hosts and tens of thousands of fiber cable kilometers. We create our own trading and middleware software which can handle a staggering number of transactions per day. It's all pretty surprising for a trading company with only 600 employees globally.
You can't win if you don't finish the race so another challenge is to provide near perfect uptime. There are few companies where IT involves creating and maintaining systems with the triple requirements of latency and capacity and availability.