Down With Downtime
By implementing automated business application processing, you can realize significant increases in efficiency and productivity.
by Dan McCall
January 3, 2006
From mergers and acquisitions to new compliance mandates to service-oriented initiatives, the evolution of business is adding a new layer of complexity to the modern work environment, but it also promises rewards of increased efficiency and simplicity. Business application processing has become the new factory floor, and innovators within IT departments are poised to become the Henry Fords of today's enterprise environment.
Maintaining competitiveness requires the agility to respond immediately to change. End users' expectations of business processes are approaching that of the telephone, with users demanding always-on, quality service. Too often, however, IT departments are stuck reacting to existing business demands instead of proactively pioneering solutions for future needs. There are many excuses for reactive IT departments, but business application processing no longer needs to be one of them.
By implementing automated business application processing as part of the core IT framework, management can achieve true "straight-through processing" and realize significant increases in efficiency and productivity. Gains are recognized through:
- Quicker application deployments.
- Fast, reliable integration for multiple applications.
- Accelerated delivery of information to decision makers.
- Higher application service levels.
- Flexible workload balancing.
- Scalable and repeatable business processes.
- Reduced manual intervention and processing latency.
- Lower production and maintenance costs.
- Automated distribution of critical reports and data.
Business Resides in the Batch
According to Milind Govekar, research vice president of Gartner Inc., "Batch integration forms 70 percent of a company's integration requirements. To drive business, batch processing must progress from simple date- and time-based processing to event-based processing across a variety of business applications and operating systems."
Tools such as batch schedulers have been superseded by sophisticated automation tools that can drive business processes enterprise-wide. IT staff can design and define the business process at a simple object level, which can then be assembled into intricate process flows that incorporate if-then logic and dynamically supplied parameters to facilitate straight-through processing. These job streams mirror the way business analysts and corporate governors have mapped the business process. Business services are initiated automatically, executed across multiple applications and over disparate platforms, with no manual intervention.
When considered as an essential part of the infrastructure and implemented in the development phase, automated business application processing allows CIOs and IT managers to focus staff on proactive tasks instead of reactionary pain points. Much of the manual scripting and maintenance that was required to complete a business process has been eliminated. Now, instead of hundredsor even thousandsof custom scripts, individual processes are defined at the object level. If a new application comes online or workflows change, you can assemble new process chains by adding new objects to your repository using a Java-based, drag-and-drop interface. Should existing objects need to be changed, IT staff can edit a master object definition to make the change cascade through all instances, instead of manually recoding hundreds of scripts.
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