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Merrill's Preventive Plumbing

Traders Magazine, November 2000

Steve Hagis

A Harvard Business Review case study describes the nightmare of every Information System (IS) manager. You arrive on Monday morning to find that a weekend conversion of your financial system has failed. "Imagine a water main has burst, and water is running through the halls," the IS manager says. "Now imagine that the water is money."

With billions of dollars of business at stake, Merrill Lynch & Co. devised a new information system to overcome the problems caused by converting from a fractional to a decimal system. That was our preventive plumbing.

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