Enabling a Small IT Team to Support a Billion-dollar Business


The client

​As a leading Canadian hedge fund with offices around the world, our client manages billions of dollars for Canadian and international investors.

Due to the nature of its business, including the need to make time-critical, online transactions, and their international client base, the company relies heavily on its IT infrastructure.

In particular, part of the firm’s strategy, and one of its value propositions, involves algorithmic trading. This requires carrier-grade IT infrastructure to reduce latency when executing trades based on the firm’s algorithms.

With over 150 staff, the company employees double-digit-sized teams in Investments, Strategies, Risk, and Analysts.

But only five full-time IT specialists.

The challenge

The main operational issue is the need to design, build and manage a very complex IT infrastructure with a small IT team.

To meet the requirements of the day-to-day business, tasks include maintaining infrastructure uptime, near-zero latency, and supporting enterprise-grade security protection.

Uptime is of the utmost of concern. One example was a firewall issue that caused their entire network to go down, triggering significant issues within the firm – including traders being unable to execute their trades securely, which is the lifeblood of the business.

Still, management could not justify the cost of full-time IT subject matter experts in such a broad range of IT disciplines.

The solution

After approaching Elastify, it was clear that they required a flexible services partner that could cater to their unique and varying needs. They needed reliable subject matter expertise for IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, data centre and cloud-based systems. And they needed it on an on-demand, as-needed basis.

Considering the depth and breadth of the firm’s IT issues, the Elastify team prioritized the firm’s internal IT problems first. This required creativity in terms of structuring engagements, both from a practical perspective but also a procurement perspective as well.

Sometimes the firm would call Elastify with a 9-1-1 emergency, other times there was time to properly plan out professional services engagements.

In the case of the firewall issue, within an hour Elastify had a Firewall SME on the phone troubleshooting the issue. Within a few hours, the root cause was identified and normal day-to-day activities were securely back online.

In every case, Elastify’s flexible, on-demand, and transparent approach was refreshing compared to rival services companies that would try to dictate how engagements should be done.

The outcome

​Elastify now provides services the way they want to consume them. We have worked with them in a variety of ways that suit their model:

  • Staff augmentation (contract)
  • Professional services (cybersecurity, infrastructure, data centre)
  • Solution design and procurement (IT consulting and management)
  • Retained services

With the IT labour market booming, specialists are costly to source, onboard and maintain. Elastify makes it possible for the firm to successfully operate their infrastructure with a small core team, which minimizes costs. Plus, they have the corporate confidence and peace of mind that comes from knowing they can always call Elastify for the expertise they need, even at a moment’s notice.

Whether it’s a strategic initiative or a task you don’t have time for, we are the source you can trust to get it done.