Could a software glitch kill your company?
How much do you reply on automated software to run your business and how robust are your procedures when something goes wrong?
There’s a story in the news today about Knight Capital who lost around £283m when their automated share trading software went haywire. Not only did they lose around 75% of their own market value, but they caused chaos on the stock markets as the prices they were trading at were all over the place.
Whilst your online business probably has no where near the exposure of stock traders, there are still many things that can go wrong. Earlier this year there were reports that AppEagle repricing software went awry and listed retailers products on Amazon for just $0.01. A few years back in 2009 Schuhstore had a major error with their inhouse software with some 15,000 products sold on auction which they didn’t have in stock. They had way over 1,000 negative eBay feedbacks and for many sellers this would have spelt the end of their business – it’s only due to Schuh’s volume that they managed to trade out of the glitch.
Do you know what could go wrong with the software solutions that you use that could affect your business? It could be anything from unintended listing on marketplaces, adword campaigns, shopping comparison listings, pricing, postage rates or even something as simple as the label printing software you use sending everything by courier instead of Royal Mail.
It’s worth reviewing the software that you use and checking exactly what permissions that software has. It’s almost impossible to run a sizeable business without a certain level of automation, but you should be aware of what your worst case exposure could be, both from how much an error could cost you as well as the reputational damage to your business.