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  • Stephan Gimpel

To build or to buy your DCM software?

Like many SaaS companies selling into a specialised market (in our case DCM departments of investment banks) our biggest sales hurdle is the “build vs buy” decision.

Synthesising the feedback from hundreds of conversations with banks over the last years, there are broadly four types of setups for how primary desks manage their pre-trade workflows:

1) Banks who run everything the same way as 15+ years ago

2) Banks currently working on an internal system

3) Banks with a successfully deployed and adopted system

4) Banks with an internal system that isn’t being used

Remarkably few banks find themselves in the coveted third category. This is because they either never transitioned from the first two categories, or their existing system slowly drifted into obscurity as it couldn’t keep up with bankers’ evolving needs.

Which won’t come as a surprise to any capital markets innovation veteran: success in business transformation is not about identifying a high-value problem, or even delivering the right solution to such a problem. It’s all about adoption and getting bankers to change their habits.

As it turns out, there are few software users more discerning (or shall we say demanding?) than capital markets bankers.

It follows that success in capital markets transformation isn’t really about functionality (that’s table stakes). It’s about the user experience.

To get into the third category, you need to offer an Excel killer that’s at least(!) 10x better, or else bankers will get bored faster than you can say “transformation project”. And then you need to maintain that standard over years of usage and market changes, to avoid slipping into the fourth category.

Or you can side-step these problems – and the risk of spending years building a system that then may not be adopted by the team – by paying for a solution that works, is already used by hundreds of DCM and Syndicate bankers and is available right now.

Get in touch with us at Bots if you’d like to learn more.


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