Written by Greg Camarillo
As IT infrastructure leaders prepare for the enrollment and holiday season, there are several key considerations:
1. Scalability: Ensure that your infrastructure can handle increased traffic and load during peak seasons. Implement auto-scaling and load balancing to accommodate fluctuations in demand. Did you know that the z/OS AI Framework (i.e. AI powered Workload Management) is introduced in z/OS 3.1 as a foundation to infuse AI into z/OS?
2. Security: Strengthen your cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive customer data and prevent potential cyberattacks, as holiday seasons often attract malicious actors. For more information about IBM Z security, visit IBM security solutions on the web: https://www.ibm.com/z/security
3. Performance Monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance of your systems to identify and address any bottlenecks or issues promptly. Join us at the IBM Z Customer Council on October 19 to learn more on “Integrating IBM Z AIOps with Instana, Ansible Automation, and Watson AIOps”
4. Disaster Recovery: Have a robust disaster recovery plan in place to minimize downtime in case of system failures or unexpected events. Learn more on achieving up to eight-nines availability.
5. Customer Experience: Focus on enhancing the customer experience by optimizing website and application performance, ensuring quick load times, and providing seamless user interactions.
6. Customer Support: Prepare your customer support team for increased inquiries and issues during the holiday rush, and consider implementing chatbots or AI-driven customer support to assist. Did you know clients can now escalate their own support cases online instead of calling 1-800 and asking for Duty Manager? Browse through the Customer Support Plan (CSP) to refresh your knowledge of IBM Support.
7. Compliance: Ensure that your IT infrastructure complies with relevant data protection and privacy regulations, especially if you handle personal or financial information. Hot off the press, IBM Z Security and Compliance Center 1.2.0 and IBM LinuxONE Security and Compliance Center 1.2.0 are now GA!
8. Communication: Establish clear lines of communication within your IT team and with other departments to address any emerging issues swiftly. Check out why you need ChatOps.
9. Testing: Rigorously test your systems, including load testing and security testing, to identify and rectify potential weaknesses before they become problems. As part of a Resiliency Strategy, you can perform load and stress testing (zBuRST) at scale to ensure maximum quality of service and business resiliency while minimizing cost and complexity.
10. Cloud Readiness: If you rely on cloud services, review your cloud infrastructure's capacity and costs to accommodate increased usage and adjust as needed.
11. Backup and Redundancy: Maintain reliable backup systems and redundancy to minimize downtime and data loss in case of failures. Learn why you can have both with IBM Z.
12. Training: Ensure that your IT team is well-trained and prepared to handle increased workloads and potential challenges during the holiday season. An option to consider is creating or updating your runbook(s). Try IBM Runbook Automation as part of Red Hat Ansible.
By addressing these considerations, IT infrastructure leaders can help their organizations navigate the enrollment and holiday season successfully while delivering a seamless experience to customers.