How did Dow computer systems handle February 27 downturn?
by Andy Oram
I can't find much information about this yet, and am relying on a few snippets of online news reports plus an NPR radio broadcast. It will be interesting to hear more details. It sounds as if the Dow computer administrators (who are highly paid, well-trained, and dedicated) had a back-up plan in place and implemented it successfully. But it must have been a horrendous day for them, and the jolt that investors received on seeing the sudden drop could not have contributed to good financial planning.
When we hear more about the computer systems, it may provide lessons for emergency management in a number of areas, including local and national government responses to disasters. The incident shows that information systems are at their most strained--and in the hardest ways to anticipate--just at the times when the public asks the most from them, and needs information most urgently.