IT Management

What is the one unique aspect of your business, something only your organization has? Of course, the answer is data. While infrastructures may be similar from company to company, data is unique to your business because you gather and use the data that’s meaningful to you. 

Mainframe data is critical to your business. Your legacy DB2 and IMS databases are reliable and cost-effective, but they’re probably growing and becoming harder to manage while your staff and budget are shrinking. How do you ensure the data is available and optimally performing? You need a methodology to manage more data with fewer resources. 

Service optimization is the profit-minded approach to increasing IT performance without adding costs. You can optimize service to your customers in three phases: enablement, exploitation, and empowerment; your goal is to move your organization to the highest level. Research indicates that your IT costs will decrease, and IT efficiencies will contribute to corporate revenue growth. 

Let’s look at each of the three phases and see how an IT organization would perform a task in each phase. We will use the example of database reorganization, because all databases must be periodically reorganized to ensure optimal performance. 

Enablement 

In the enablement phase, IT provides services using tools and technician skills. Problems are often surprises, and solving them requires manual effort. Most database management solutions simplify performance management activities, administrative tasks (such as schema management and utility automation), and the planning and execution of backup/recovery processes. 

If your organization is in the enablement phase, you probably reorganize databases on a set schedule. Because most reorganizations require outages, you must schedule downtime for maintenance. If you reorganize every database weekly, you ensure the databases are reorganized, but you may be reorganizing databases that had few or no changes. 

Exploitation 

In the exploitation phase, IT cost-effectively meets business commitments. Two important characteristics define the exploitation phase: automation and the use of historical data to predict future behavior. 

Automation supports real-time collection and analysis of metrics to identify potential problems. When thresholds are met, automated corrective actions are deployed to prevent service interruptions or performance degradation. Vendor solutions and/or in-house processes make IT organizations proactive by anticipating and resolving problems before an outage occurs. By using these tools and processes, you improve reliability, reduce cost, optimize resource usage, improve service levels, and maximize DBA productivity. 

Using historical data, you can identify changes in performance characteristics and resource usage to prevent response time problems. Historical metrics identify when database maintenance activities may be needed. How valuable would it be to be able to predict future capability requirements and optimize performance? This information can help your IT organization evolve beyond a proactive organization to one that’s focused on service.

 In the exploitation phase, you can look at trends and see which databases need reorganization, and you save time and resources because you reorganize only the databases that need it. 

Empowerment 

In empowered IT organizations, business objectives are described and prioritized as part of the service level management process to ensure critical applications receive the service they require. You have a two-way flow of information and events between DB2 and IMS systems and the business service management processes that define the requirements for the applications. Imagine how much more efficient your IT organization would be if you increased availability, reduced resource usage, improved DBA productivity, and reduced risk. 

The empowered IT organization takes a novel approach to database reorganization—fully automated reorganizations that are initiated by user-defined thresholds. Database maintenance is automated. DBAs can focus on the issue of the moment, and not spend time on routine maintenance. This approach delivers optimal service, saves time and resources, and enables IT to help drive revenue. 

Which level of service optimization are you in now? Where would you like to be? A combination of vendor solutions and your own or industry best practice processes can help you reach the level of service optimization you want to achieve.