Chicago Mercantile Exchange sees benefits in automated change management

* How CME justifies automation

Last time, we discussed Network World’s recent IT Roadmap conference in Chicago. Network World President and Editorial Director John Gallant interviewed David Grooms, vice president and U.S. CIO of McDonalds. Grooms pointed out that McDonalds had recently made a major WAN upgrade with the driving factor being the business value that was associated with the upgrade, than the traditional financial metrics. Today, we are going to provide another example of an IT organization that makes at least some investments based largely on the business value.

At the conference, Jim interviewed Heather Munoz, director of distributed computing at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which recently deployed automated change management. Some IT organizations deploy automation to reduce labor costs and that was a goal of CME, but Munoz also pointed out that the CME is live 24 hours a day, six days a week (Sunday through Friday), and as a result, the only time CME can make a change to its systems is on a Saturday. She pointed out that given the scale of CME’s operation it occasionally experiences a situation where faulty changes that are made on a Saturday take a long time to fix and that on at least one occasion took so long that the CME had to delay market openings. According to Munoz, the senior management at the CME approved the investment in automated change management primarily to fix situations like this and to reduce the amount of time that it takes to get a new customer up and running from hours down to minutes.

We would like to hear from you. In particular, what type of process does your organization go through in order to justify investing in a WAN upgrade? We also want to invite you to attend the next IT Roadmap conference that will be held June 26 in Santa Clara. At the conference we will continue to discuss justifying IT investments.

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