When the European Union decided to introduce the euro, the European Central Bank had to develop a new computer system (called Target) to provide a currency settlement system for use by investment banks and brokerages. The euro opened at an exchange rate of U.S. $1.167. However, a rumor that the Target system malfunctioned sent the value of the euro plunging two days later.
That evening, it was determined that the malfunction was not due to system problems. Instead, operators at some German banks had misunderstood how to use the system and had entered incorrect data. Once the problems were identified and the operators quickly retrained, the Target system continued to operate and the euro quickly regained its lost value.

Target could be considered a high-risk system because of its effects on the European economy. What kinds of system support activities could be put in place to mitigate problems with Target?

  • CreatedMarch 13, 2013
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