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The Convergent Enterprise

Blog: Colin Crofts - Business Process Improvement


Jeff Rauscher, Director of Solutions Design for Redwood Software discusses how companies can use their legacy mainframes to gather and process big data.
Gathering and processing strategic information for business can take a great deal of effort. For years, companies have depended on information technology (IT) to bring large volumes of business data back down to a manageable and meaningful size. This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most trusted and reliable business technologies out there–the IBM System/360, the world’s first commercially available mainframe computer.
Business IT owes much of its success, as well as its basic structure, to mainframe design. It is robust technology that businesses will use well into the future. Earlier this year, Gavin Clarke, a journalist at The Register, reported that 96 of the world’s top 100 banks run S/360 descendants, with mainframes processing roughly 30 billion transactions per day.
Mainframe Backbone
Reliable mainframe technology is the backbone of many businesses, particularly financial organizations. However, when the mainframe co-exists with layers of distributed, cloud and virtual technologies—as it almost always does—it can be difficult to maintain process visibility and efficiently execute coordinated cross-system processes. As a result, business and IT are now at a crossroads. The challenge for both is to use innovative new technology alongside reliable older solutions to gather and process data faster and more accurately than ever.
Just last year Gartner predicted that; “By 2016, 70% of the most profitable companies will manage their processes using real-time predictive analytics or extreme collaboration.” For some organizations, the question of exactly how this will happen still remains. For top performers, the answer lies in better engineering across the processes that support the business by bringing seemingly disparate elements together.
Automate for Convergence
Recent research from The Hackett Group found that “top-performing IT organizations focus on automation and complexity reduction as essential IT strategy elements.” The Hackett study continues to explain that these top performers automate up to 80% more business processes than other organizations. As a result these companies carry 70% less complexity in their technology, spend 25% less on labor and use 40% fewer applications for every 1,000 users.
Automated processes guarantee a level of coordination, consistency and accuracy that’s impossible otherwise. By automating processes across diverse technologies, platforms and locations, IT organizations coordinate and tame complexity to realize immediate benefits from everything they have.
Companies need to process more data faster for business intelligence, customer service and competitive advantage. At the same time, business leadership demands deeper and more detailed analytics.  The mainframe is a tremendous ally in the effort to manage so much information. So are myriad other technologies.
To get the most from a complex IT environment, organizations need platform-agnostic automation. With this single advantage, divergent IT converges to function accurately, quickly and in concert. It’s the best way to deliver value from your long-term investments while you build for the next 50 years.
SOURCE: Redwood

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