Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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6/3/2009
09:13 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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NYSE CIO Sees IT Revolution In Evaluating And Accepting Risk

The New York Stock Exchange's IT organization is "accepting alternatives that [it] never ever would have considered a year ago" because budget pressures are forcing its CIO to go with unorthodox approaches that last year would have been met with "That is too crazy. That is risky. That makes no sense." Is this a revolution - or spurt evolution?

The New York Stock Exchange's IT organization is "accepting alternatives that [it] never ever would have considered a year ago" because budget pressures are forcing its CIO to go with unorthodox approaches that last year would have been met with "That is too crazy. That is risky. That makes no sense." Is this a revolution - or spurt evolution?Steve Rubinow, executive vice-president and co-Global CIO for NYSE Euronext, said the unprecedented new approaches being taken by his company, which runs exchanges around the world, are not isolated anecdotes, according to an article on ChannelWeb:

"I have seen in our company, and other companies, people asking questions and accepting alternatives that they never ever would have considered a year ago," said Rubinow. "A year ago they would have said, 'That is too crazy. That is risky. That makes no sense. We could never accomplish that.'

"Now all of a sudden they are saying, 'Let's talk about that. that does make sense.' Depending on if you are a half-glass or a half-glass-full person, it is either a problem or an opportunity."

In a keynote speech at Everything Channel's VAR500 Conference, Rubinow said he and his IT team at NYSE Euronext are also breaking new ground in working with small software vendors that can deliver "innovation at a great cost," which is one of the ways the company is achieving the ubiquitous challenge to do more with less.

"We have difficult problems that not everyone can solve so we have to look wherever someone might have a potential solution and have a discussion with them," said Rubinow in to the ChannelWeb article.

So if it is true that desperate times require desperate measures, then what Rubinow appears to be doing is dramatically redrawing the boundaries around IT risk that is acceptable and IT risk that is unacceptable. He's saying that he's got two alternatives: he can stick with the old approaches and strategies and checkpoints, but that is doomed to fail because he doesn't have the budget or the staff size and depth to support such efforts; or, he can look at the resources he's got and re-create an entirely new plan that's predicated on what is possible instead of what is traditional.

I strongly recommend the ChannelWeb article, and it will be very interesting to see if the wild new approaches being led by Rubinow turn out to be a revolution that flares up but ultimately dissipates, or an example of spurt evolution, in which various forces exert tremendous stresses simultaneously on an ecosystem, forcing massive change and leaving behind only those with an extraordinary ability to adapt and survive.

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