ISE CTO: If It Doesn't Mean Business, Drop It
Q&A with ISE CTO Rob Cornish
March 14, 2013
The International Securities Exchange (ISE) is planning to start a second options market called Topaz in the second quarter. The electronic options-trading subsidiary of Deutsche Boerse Group is moving quickly to roll out new technology and trim costs.
As part of that initiative, ISE recently promoted Rob Cornish to be its new chief technology officer. Cornish has worked at ISE since its founding n 1999, most recently serving as technology strategy and infrastructure officer.
Q. What are the major challenges you face?
A. In 2012, we created a new model for information technology strategy. We need to ensure that our technology strategy aligns with business. We ask what the business heads need in terms of solutions and ensure those are very focused, which means all solutions roll up to business strategy. Any solution that doesn’t align is taken off the list. And we need the resources in place to make the solutions work. It’s also essential that we provide full transparency to the business side, rather than work in two separate silos.
Q. How do you accomplish that?
A. We’ve created metrics that enable the business heads to gauge the costs and progress of technology implementations that are being developed for them. We need to reduce costs and roll out solutions much faster to be competitive. Metrics help us stay on track and on schedule as we expand our marketplace.
Q. What are some of the some of the new products and market data services you’ve added as part of your new technology strategy?
A. In June we implemented Solarflare’s low latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet mezzanine adapters as a means of maximizing infrastructure performance for users of our premimum connectivity services. Solarflare’s network latency, (which ranges) from 70 to 30 microseconds, was the lowest and most consistent we could find. Then, in November we completed the initial phase of the deployment of the Puppet Enterprise solution.
Q. Which is what?
A. It’s automation software for system administrators. It’s enabled us to integrate our Windows and Linux platforms and eliminate the separation between those two IT teams. This cross-platform capability gives a central way to manage.
It has also has enabled us to significantly reduce the time it takes to deploy new software in our production environment. An upgrade that used to take 3 hours now can be completed in about 20 minutes. It treats our infrastructure as code so we can to add automation, version control, and regression testing to infrastructure deployments.