Chapter 5 Case Study for Mis

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Merrill Lynch Connects Past and Future Technology

1.Why did Merrill Lynch need to update its IT infrastructure?

Merrill Lynch and its subsidiaries provide brokerage, investment banking, financing, wealth management, advisory, asset management, insurance, lending, and other related products and services to private, institutional, and government clients. One of the most critical components of Merrill Lynch’s operations is its information technology infrastructure. It has played a major role in the company’s gains. In order to remain competitive, they needed to modernize its technology infrastructure.

2.What is the relationship of information technology to Merrill Lynch’s business strategy? How was its Web services initiative related to that strategy?

In order to remain competitive, Merrill Lynch’s needed to find a way to integrate their mainframe programs with Web applications. The company realized that they needed to modernize its technology and they had to make choices regarding their legacy computers and the thousands of programs that were used. Internet-based applications were one way of giving customers access to their portfolios and tools to work with them.

3.Evaluate Merrill Lynch’s approach to Web services development. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Is it a good solution? Explain your answer.

In order to remain competitive, Merrill Lynch had a pressing need to develop and implement Internet-based applications. At the same time they also wanted to leverage the processing power and wealth of data in stored in the mainframe programs. To address this issue, Merrill Lynch developed their own service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform.

Advantages of building their own:
No SOA vendors could provide products to meet Merrill Lynch’s requirements. The firm needed to construct a proprietary Web development platform from the ground up in order to extend the capabilities of its legacy mainframe systems. •...
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