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What a year: London Stock Exchange in severe IT difficulty, BlackBerry falls flat, bank email archives blown open

What a year: London Stock Exchange in severe IT difficulty, BlackBerry falls flat, bank email archives blown open

We hand-pick the top news stories of 2011

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2011 was a year of huge IT news. JP Morgan rolled out a game-changing real time risk analysis system, UK Chancellor George Osborne attempted to boost the economy with a raft of technology initiatives, and Jaguar recalled 18,000 cars after it found out a severe risk with its cruise control software.

We've hand picked these and the other most important IT management stories of the year.


JP Morgan supercomputer offers risk analysis in near real time

The investment bank implements application-led, High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities developed by Maxeler Technologies, allowing it to run risk analysis and price its global credit portfolio in near real-time.

The project wins 'Most Cutting Edge IT Initiative' at the American Financial Technology Awards 2011, and is expanded further across the bank. 

London Stock Exchange experiences severe launch problems after Linux go-live

The London Stock Exchange sets live its Millennium IT matching engine based on Novell SUSE Linux technology, abandoning a Microsoft .Net architecture built by Accenture.

But severe data feed problems occur for three weeks, and the LSE makes a U-turn on the system requirements placed on data vendors such as Thomson Reuters, Interactive Data and Bloomberg.

In other stock exchange news, the NYSE-Deutsche Borse merger goes ahead, with integration chiefs sizing up a single matching engine based on Red Hat Linux.
BATS and Chi-X also merge, becoming the largest pan-European stock exchange, and planning begins for move Chi-X to the BATS platform. But later in the year, a major hardware failure floors the exchange all day.

Stock market data giant Thomson Reuters says it made a mistake with the fast launch speed of a billion dollar desktop product for financial traders, called Eikon, which struggled with takeup and hurt profits.  A month later chief executive Tom Glocer, who spent months turning round the troubled unit responsible for Eikon, announces he is leaving the company. 

BlackBerry's three day outage hurts businesses and becomes a PR disaster

BlackBerry's three day outage in the summer is widely branded a disaster for parent RIM, which is facing tough competition from Apple, Android and Windows-based phones.

The company fails to provide any clear explanation to customers. The IT community is later shocked to find that RIM apparently only had a single point of failure. 

Jaguar recalls 18000 cars over cruise control software fault

Jaguar recalls nearly 18,000 X-type cars after it discovers a major software fault, which means drivers might not be able to turn off cruise control. The problem lies with engine management control software developed in-house by the manufacturer.

And in another IT failure that risks a major accident, the automated undercarriage systems on a Boeing Dreamliner, a new high-tech jumbo jet, entirely fail to work during the landing approach of a domestic Japanese flight carrying 250 passengers. A manual override is employed. 

NHS £13bn IT programme abandoned after being roundly judged as a failure

The government formally announces the scrapping of the £13 billion National Programme for IT in the NHS, dubbing it the biggest IT disaster of the last Labour administration. The decision comes after powerful government committees roundly lambast the Department of Health and suppliers BT and CSC for the trouble.

But the government's trouble with suppliers only seems to get worse. CSC, embroiled in fraud scandals and investor lawsuits, tells the stock markets that the NHS has "no existing right" to terminate its £3 billion contract – and that doing so could lead to a massive court case.
Fujitsu, which quit the programme in 2008, lines itself up for a court battle in its £700 million dispute with the NHS.

Meanwhile, BT is said to be charging some trusts three times the market price for their systems.

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