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Financial Forum Toronto: The shift left test strategy

QA Financial CEO Matthew Crabbe and Ananda Chawda in Toronto
QA Financial CEO Matthew Crabbe and Ananda Chawda in Toronto

At the recent QA Financial Forum in Toronto, which took place on April 11, one of the conference’s key speakers – Anand Chawda – discussed operations and reporting requirements for trading and risk management platform Murex, as well as business and user acceptance testing requirements.

The Toronto-based head of quality engineering, QTS, strategic programs at RBC Capital Markets, legacy platform migration, also went over the key challenges of application testing and data transitions for Murex platform upgrades and what makes Murex so unique. QA Financial checked in with Anand Chawda.

Q: Earlier, we spoke about what makes Murex so unique, but let’s touch on its operations and reporting requirements.

Anand Chawda: Yes, in addition to trading and risk management functionalities, Murex offers robust operations and reporting capabilities. Firstly, this includes trade lifecycle management. Murex facilitates end-to-end trade lifecycle management, from trade capture and validation to settlement and reconciliation, streamlining operations and reducing operational risks.

Then there is real-time reporting. Murex provides real-time reporting and analytics, enabling organizations to monitor portfolio performance, daily/real-time P&L to assess risk exposure, and make informed trading decisions.

Moreover, there is regulatory reporting, so compliance with regulatory reporting processes, ensuring compliance with various regulatory requirements such as MiFID II, EMIR, and Dodd-Frank.

Also, custom reporting. Organisations can create custom reports and dashboards in Murex to track key performance indicators, monitor trading activities, and analyse market trends.

Finally, integration with external systems. Murex seamlessly integrates with external systems such as market data providers, clearinghouses, and settlement platforms to facilitate smooth operations and reporting.

Q: Let’s dive into leveraging shift left testing for Murex testing optimisation.

Anand Chawda: Shift left testing involves moving testing activities earlier in the development lifecycle to identify and address issues sooner, reducing the likelihood of defects and enhancing overall system reliability. Shift Left testing offers several benefits, such as early identification of issues.

By conducting comprehensive system and functional testing early in the Murex migration project, potential issues and discrepancies can be identified and addressed proactively, minimizing the risk of disruptions during production rollout.

Then there is automation of testing workflows. Leveraging custom automation tools and frameworks for testing key business processes in Murex enables rapid and repeatable testing of critical functionalities, reducing manual effort and accelerating time-to-market.

“The adoption of a shift left test strategy emerges as a game-changer.”

– Anand Chawda

Also, the DevOps Pipeline. Implementing continuous integration and deployment pipelines for Murex testing allows for frequent testing and validation of code changes, ensuring that updates are deployed smoothly without impacting production operations.

Moreover, collaboration across teams. Facilitating collaboration between development, testing, and operations teams enables alignment of testing efforts with business objectives and requirements, fostering a culture of quality and accountability throughout the migration.

Q: So would you say it is a game-changer?

Anand Chawda: Yes, In the world of software testing leadership, the adoption of a shift left test strategy emerges as a game-changer. This strategy entails engaging all stakeholders early on and tackling intricate technical and business hurdles right from the onset. When organizations embrace this approach, it lays the groundwork for seamless transitions in later stages, minimizing issues, surprises during the later phases of testing and go-live.

This approach fosters a work environment where quality is a priority, and everyone contributes to excellence. As a result, organizations experience faster execution timelines, improved efficiency, and superior output upon deployment in production.

Q: Finally, let’s touch on business and user acceptance testing requirements for Murex.

Anand Chawda: Another important type of testing then can be conducted in business/user acceptance testing. Business-driven testing for Murex revolves around aligning testing efforts with specific business objectives and requirements. This includes day to day operation testing, so validating the core functionalities of Murex modules such as trade capture, trade events, confirmation settlement, financial, risk analytics, and reporting to ensure they meet business requirements.

“This represents a paradigm shift in how financial organizations approach legacy platform migrations.”

– Anand Chawda

Moreover, scenario-based testing. Designing test scenarios that simulate complex/edge cases real-world trading and risk management scenarios to validate Murex’s functionality and performance.

Also, performance testing. Assessing Murex’s performance under varying loads e.g., Live-books, EOD processes and transaction volumes to identify and address potential bottlenecks and optimize system performance during peak trading hours.

Then there is regulatory compliance testing, so ensuring that Murex complies with regulatory standards and reporting requirements specific to the financial markets in which the organization operates.

Next up is regression testing: Ensuring that new Murex implementations or upgrades do not adversely affect existing business processes or functionalities through comprehensive regression testing.

Finally, user acceptance testing. Involving end-users/traders from front office in the testing process to validate that Murex meets their usability and workflow needs, thereby enhancing user adoption and satisfaction.

Q: In summary, how should the financial services space see this process?

Anand Chawda: Yes, in conclusion, the adoption of the shift left test strategy in migrating to the Murex platform represents a paradigm shift in how financial organizations approach legacy platform migrations. By adopting modern software testing strategies and addressing key challenges related to data migration, application testing, and operations, organizations can successfully navigate this transition and unlock the full potential of Murex’s capabilities.

This is part 2 of our II-part interview series. In the first instalment following the recent QA Financial Forum in Toronto, Chawda went over the migration from legacy systems into the key challenges of application testing and data transitions for Murex platform upgrades and what makes Murex so unique as a trading and risk management platform. Please read it here.

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