Morgan Stanley CTO: We Are Our Own Vendor Lock-In
November 16 , 2015
At last week’s ONUG Fall 2015 conference in New York City, Morgan Stanley CTO Tsvi Gal described how his company was the victim of its own past engineering successes.
By taking pride in developing its own systems and putting a focus on internal development, Morgan Stanley inadvertently closed the walls around its systems.
In reality, the worst vendor lock-in is our own,” Gal said during his keynote address. “We all say we don’t want to be locked into a certain vendor because we may want to change at a certain point. We are basically locked into our own environment.”
Morgan Stanley has 75,000 physical servers, 60,000 employees (all with their own databases), and uses about 70,000 developers around the world, Gal said. Morgan Stanley was one of the first Wall Street companies to embrace Linux — it’s 85 percent Linux-based today, and it’s known for building its own systems.
“Our philosophy is build when you can differentiate and buy when you cannot,” he said. “We are really a technology company that is also engaged in banking.”