A priority for your CIO is aligning their IT organization with marketing and other departments, as we discussed in last week’s blog. It’s part of the “one business” philosophy that creates companywide ownership of business outcomes and moves departments, particularly IT, out of silos.
One of the motivators for this new philosophy is to create business agility. Forrester Research defines business agility as “the quality that allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes as a matter of routine.” The pace of change has been accelerated by customer expectations and companies that are not agile may lose ground or even go out of business. Here’s a surprising fact from Forrester: seventy percent of companies on the Fortune 1000 list ten years ago are no longer on the list.
So what can IT Managers, engineers, and operators who manage AS/400 infrastructure do to help their companies become more agile?
The goal should be to help your company achieve workflow efficiency that is focused on business outcomes instead of operational smoothness. Some may say it is the same thing, but it’s not. Operational smoothness on its own is great. Keeping infrastructure in working order, software updated, etc. is important. But that’s a “light’s on” mentality.” By focusing on business outcomes, a more proactive approach to workflow efficiency is achieved and technology solutions are developed to help the company achieve their goals.
Here are three specific ways to help your company increase business agility by maximizing the output:
1. Spool file software for IBM Power Systems
Whether you have an AS/400, an iSeries, or the newest IBM i, critical data is held hostage in your server without spool file software that allows the data to convert into user-friendly PDF or Excel files. Spool file software also allows you to track distribution of reports and to encrypt PDFs for added security.
2. Report automation and distribution software for IBM i
Being agile in sales and marketing means getting reports quickly into the hands of managers and reps. Timely sales analysis allows companies to stay nimble in the marketplace by offering sales or promotions on products that they want to promote based on the data. Sales reports also help manufacturing decisions stay in synch with demand.
Marketing relies on frequent analytic reports about website visitor behavior in order to create communications and campaigns that stay relevant to the interests and needs of customers and prospects.
Accounting relies on automated invoicing in order to keep an even cash flow coming into the business. Finance departments rely on the financial reports to keep an eye on the overall health of the company.
Well-designed and supported report software helps your company stay agile.
3. Message Monitoring Software for AS/400, iSeries, IBM i
Customer expectations of being able to get online to do business are so high now that downtime can mean more than immediate lost revenue – it can mean lost customers. Then there is the internal expectation that the reports we just discussed will be delivered on time, every time.
Part of helping your company stay agile in the marketplace is doing all you can to anticipate possible failures, breakdowns, and outages. Message monitoring gives your company a 24/7 set of laser focused eyes looking for critical error messages that signify trouble. Message monitoring software allows sentries to be set that will send an email or a text any time of the day or night when processing errors are spotted, power outages, out-of-paper, server capacity overloads, and more.
Business agility in IT is no longer just about infrastructure. IT Managers and staff that embrace the thinking that it’s about business outcomes are aligning themselves with the mindset of the CIO and management team. Since IBM Power Systems are the engine that drives the core applications of so many enterprises, implementing solutions that maximize and protect this precious IT resource is all about being agile.
Help your company achieve business agility by maximizing your IBM Power Systems. Request a free trial now.