IT Management

Do you remember the last time you visited your bank branch? Was it back in the ’90s? Perhaps it was about the same time you last telephoned your bank? Banking has changed dramatically over the years. First it was ATMs. Then came the Internet and online banking. The latest and most profound and rapid change is being driven by the dramatic increase in the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Today, you can access your money 24x7 and from anywhere. You can pay bills, check your account balances, see if certain checks have come in, and even deposit a check via your mobile device.

The wide adoption of mobile technology certainly isn’t limited to banking. People are enthusiastically adopting it for conducting other personal business as well. With their mobile devices, people can shop anytime and anywhere for insurance, check rates, and purchase policies. They can manage their investments and check stock prices and trading securities. They can also make airline reservations, purchase tickets, select seats, and get boarding passes. The possibilities are many and varied.

The exploding use of mobile technology has a major disruptive effect on the IT department. That’s because IT must ensure it delivers services to users at the availability and performance levels they expect, regardless of the time of day or the access device used. Not doing so could result in the loss of revenue, or worse, the loss of customers. That presents a challenge due to the massive increase in workload brought about by mobile technology and by the seemingly random patterns of that workload.

To meet the challenge, you need to understand how mobile technology has changed the workload patterns and incorporate that knowledge into your IT service management approach. You also must build automated elasticity into your IT infrastructure so it can meet the highly dynamic workload demands of mobility without having to overbuy equipment. In addition, you must ensure that sufficient capacity is available in the future to meet the inevitable growth in demand.

The Mobile Disruptive Force

Telecommunications companies are pushing hard to increase the sales of mobile devices by continually adding new features. Mobile networks and Wi-Fi hotspots have become much more ubiquitous, faster, and far more reliable. In addition, companies in just about all industries are enthusiastically embracing mobile technology. They’ve created apps for popular mobile operating systems and are rolling out new apps at an accelerating rate.

All these factors have created a wave of mobile devices that’s engulfing millions of users. The result is an enormous number of transactions hitting the IT infrastructures of many companies at all hours of the day and night. These transactions are coming from many devices from different vendors. And these devices are continually evolving.

The IT department must absorb the disruptive force of mobility. That means taking on a huge volume of transactions from an enormous and growing number of disparate mobile devices—and the workload patterns of these transactions are difficult to predict. Because the transactions can come in at any time, the batch windows of many organizations have been eliminated.

When you add backup and recovery and risk mitigation to the challenge, the margin for error to recover from problems becomes small. And with the viral speed of social media, mistakes are quickly and widely broadcast. This can have significant business impact, such as loss of customers and company image.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Most companies view mobile devices as vehicles through which they can connect much more closely with their customers, expanding business and increasing market share. For example, an airline or retail store can present you with promotional offers personalized to your taste and consumer habits. Or, they can alert you at any time to items of interest to you, such as flight schedule changes.

Understanding the Impact: Massive Traffic Volume

Mobile devices have driven substantial changes in workloads on the IT infrastructure. Before mobile devices came into the picture, you had to sit at your PC to conduct personal business online. This might have prompted you to limit the number of times you would usually conduct personal business. With mobile devices, you can conduct a multitude of transactions at any time and from just about any place.

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