There has been a tectonic shift over the past two to three years with businesses realizing that analysis and measurement of critical business software is no longer simply nice to have, but a necessity. Every CIO, CEO, and board member is keenly aware of the fact that the stakes are too high and the size and complexity of mission critical systems has outpaced traditional technological safeguards.
In the midst of debt ceiling and government shutdown negotiations on Monday, the Obama Administration launched its new online health insurance marketplace — HealthCare.gov — where Americans can go to shop for affordable healthcare.
However, it seems even the federal government isn’t immune from technical snags.
It’s no shocker that the federal government is turning to cost cutting measures in the middle of a down economy. But there’s a bigger problem looming on the horizon.
The federal government has become very dependent on open source products; which wouldn’t be a problem if open source software was held to the same standard as custom commercial code.
Why our very own Lev Lesokhin, of course.
If you were on Twitter Tuesday (or watching the market index), you no doubt saw AP’s fake tweet regarding an explosion at the White House that wounded the president, and the market and media frenzy that followed as a result. Not only was it remarkable to see the effect one rogue tweet could have on market stability (it temporarily wiped out $136B from the S&P 500), but the whole episode also underscored how fast paced the world of business has become.
If you were to stand outside of our building right as The Wall Street Journal dropped a story about kill switches, you’d hear our teeth gnashing. As anyone in our business knows, the kind of work that we do for our customers is not exactly front page news. (But it should be!)
So it was very exciting when Business Insider asked us to talk about the issues on Wall Street, specifically about Mark Cuban’s response to the SEC’s investigation of high-frequency trading.
The story ran today and we wanted to share it with you. We hope you enjoy it and share it around widely in an effort to raise awareness about the real issues that are undermining the reliability of our financial systems.
When some poorly written code takes down your Twitter stream, that’s one thing. It’s something else entirely when a software bug prevents you from accessing the money you have in the bank.
Banks in Europe, the U.S., and Australia have had technical issues at an unprecedented rate over the last 12-18 months. Millions of account holders have been unable to access their accounts online, withdraw money at ATMs, or even use their cards to make payments at stores or online. That’s exactly the problem that RBS Group is dealing with right now, the latest bank to be hit with technical issues.
Many of us come from the IT trenches ourselves and can empathize sincerely with the RBS team in the U.K. It is no fun at all cleaning up after such a big firestorm. But the unfortunate truth is this particular bank is likely no different than the consumer banking industry at large. Our colleagues at CAST Labs run the world’s biggest repository of structural quality metrics, and the consumer banking industry is most notable for its low level of representation in this repository.
Computing covered the most recent story and interviewed our very own Jay Sappidi to understand why glitches like this are not a new phenomenon. “Because we’re all in such a hurry to get code out, people will tend to say they wanted it yesterday,” explained Jay. “So what IT departments skip or compromise is checking the actual quality of the code.”
Jay was also featured in The Independent, where he explained that while organizations do spend a lot of resources trying to safeguard their systems, they might be approaching it from the wrong angle. Jay commented, “people spend so much time, effort, and energy trying to beef up their security for external threats rather than worrying about internal weaknesses.”
Flip over to the articles in Computing and The Independent to read some more of Jay’s comments.