The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) had its second outage in a week while trying to prepare its systems for expanded trading hours. The previous glitch occured on April 25th and caused the exchange to be down for half the day, with additonal problems the next day. The CBOE described the cause of the glitch as an "internal systems issue and not the result of any outside influence". Published reports indicated that the cause of the outage was related to preparations for expanding trading hours. CBOE executives were quoted as saying that they had no plans to abandon the longer trading day and will hire an outside consultant to help. Many observers have noted that system glitches threaten the confidence in the financial systems infrastructure. But is this really the right focus?
This is only my opinion, but I believe that what seems like an endless list of high profile systems outages points to a more serious issue and that is our lack of commitment to developing and implementing software and systems in a professional way. Software systems are often mission critical with little or no room for mistakes. When companies fail to manage risk and establish proper IT controls then disaster happen such as what occured recently at Knight Capital. We need to stop making excuses and ensure that corporations develop and implement systems using industry best practices such as DevOps. Financial systems should be secure and developed with a secure trusted base. In order to be successful, corporations need to start with the basics including source code management along with automated application build, package and deployment. We can do this. Companies that do the right thing will also enjoy improved productivity and quality!
That's my opinion.
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