Knight Capital makes the point about the risks of automation

Knight Capital's disaster is a warning to us all in IT

I can't wait to see an analysis of what went on at Knight Capital (if we ever do see the truth). If I were a betting man I'd be putting huge money on there being an IT culture of "agility" and "speed to market" and "managed risks".

In the financial trading industry there is also a misguided belief in automated systems. That same belief is starting to infect IT operations with DevOps. I've said it before: automation doesn't so much prevent errors as dam them up. It is inherently risky because computers are stupid. it is even riskier if you are building those systems without proper controls.

You can't get away with increased risk for ever. Sooner or later you will pay. The Agile proponents just don't get this. And it is not limited to Agile. The whole idea that increased risk taking is not only OK, it is somehow essential to survive competitively is endemic in our society, from the Wall Street Wankers to the BYOD Bunnies.

Talk to Knight about competitive survival. They may survive this, they may not. They nearly didn't. I have one acquaintance just got out of years in jail for failed white-collar risk and another just gone in for the same reason.

You can't push the envelope for ever. Risk is gambling. And automated risk is gambling for high stakes. Probability always wins.

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