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Automation on the IBM i

By Arnav Bhalla posted Tue May 24, 2022 09:23 AM

  

automation

/ɔːtəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/

noun: automation; 

the use or introduction of software in a process in order to reduce human effort.

"automation on the IBM i can help reduce application downtime!"

Introduction

Moving beyond the dictionary definition, automation is a well understood factor in improving organisational efficiency. Using technology to streamline existing IT and business processes whilst reducing human involvement is nothing new. Let us look at how automation on the IBM i can improve daily business operations through coordination of workflow applications in a constantly evolving global environment.

Now more than ever, we live in a VUCA world, characterised by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a prime example of the uncertainty and volatility we now face, and it has forced organisations into faster digital transformation to sustain their business activities and meet the need for new online products and services. According to a McKinsey report, the COVID crisis has accelerated the shift to a more digital native environment much earlier than expected by most industry leaders and specialists. 

This has served as a catalyst for automation, with the IBM i community understanding the need to respond quickly and effectively to this changing business landscape.   

For decades, the IBM i has been a critical mid-range platform for organisations large and small, across all industries. It has been the backbone of key business processes: everything from supply chain and logistics, to finance, manufacturing and retail. An IBM report shows that almost three-quarters of executives expect a growth in revenue if they were to implement automation solutions within their business.

How can automation on the IBM i benefit your business?

1.   Reduce your costs with automation:

Cost savings are a big aspect of automation. The reduced manpower costs of these technological solutions can have a significant impact on the profitability of the organisation in a positive way.

For example, the usage of frameworks and models to delegate and streamline work for developers.  

A rapid return on investment can be seen through the implementation of automation solutions as they scale with the growth of an organisation and can eradicate service disruptions that are frequently experienced with manual processes and intervention.


2.   Reduce system and application downtime:

Application downtime can cause severe setbacks for organisations from a financial as well as operational point of view. System outages can result in reduced productivity and, in turn, a loss in revenue. According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute and can be as much as $300,000 per hour on average.

To keep core business processes running at optimum levels, automation technology can provide the perfect solution through tools for application lifecycle management, message management, advanced job scheduling, spool file management and many more. By implementing these solutions, your organisation can avail thousands of dollars in cost savings, as well as ensure the health of crucial qualitative factors such as brand reputation, customer retention and loyalty, and employee morale.

3.   Efficient development and deployment processes:

 

With automation in the software development process, teams can deploy new applications faster, minimise errors, and maximise efficiency during the development process. For example, the use of authoring environments and tools to improve application UI can increase developer productivity.

This is extremely beneficial for teams as it reduces the need to manually find errors in large and often complex scripts, making it easy to satisfy service level targets regularly and reliably.

What to base your automation decision on?

One word: data.

It is the core of any decision making process, and choosing what aspects of your business and IT processes need automation solutions should be based on accurate data. Not only does data allow you to find the pain points and make appropriate decisions, but once the solutions are integrated, organisations can optimise and refine the processes and operations as and when they happen.

Further, to eradicate potential vulnerabilities, provide better levels of security, and audit compliance, automation tools can provide apt solutions. In the wake of unprecedented circumstances such as the pandemic, automation can help develop new capabilities that can scale businesses with ease.

Finally, is it the right tool for your organisation?

A McKinsey Digital report found that over 70 per cent of organisations that prioritised tactical modernisation through automation solutions saw a successful rollout of digital transformation and improved organisational growth.

Implementing these types of solutions can bring a wide variety of benefits, as mentioned above, and it is important to choose the right vendor with quality products to avail maximum results. Choosing suppliers with good after-sales support, flexibility in implementation, and reliable references is a must. SoftLanding Systems provides enterprise-grade solutions for application lifecycle management, automated operations, performance management, enterprise content management and menu management, to help organisations improve their efficiency with the help of automation.

You can learn more about SoftLanding solutions here: https://www.softlanding.com/solutions/

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