Using Intelligent Automation to Facilitate Business Continuity

Using Intelligent Automation to Facilitate Business Continuity

Many people associate business continuity with catastrophes such as floods, hurricanes or terrorist attacks. But while these disasters can certainly disrupt business, there are plenty of other types of seemingly minor events that can have just as devastating an impact. These things may include anything from employee or application errors to delays in responding changes. In fact, according to Gartner, an average of 80% of mission-critical application service downtime is directly caused by people or process failures. Intelligent automation can help organizations prepare for and avoid these situations.

Driving Factors

Today’s mainframe is a critical and deeply integrated component of the overall IT infrastructure. Not only must it interoperate with a growing number of other resources as part of a complex, multi-tiered architecture, but it must also meet the demand for 24/7 operability. The days of scheduled maintenance windows have all but disappeared, forcing IT teams to perform these necessary tasks – such as upgrading, fixing bugs and adding new applications – while the system is still up and running.

Further complicating matters, the Internet has exposed the mainframe to outside users that number into the thousands or even millions. As a critical component of an organization’s business processes, the mainframe must also facilitate transactions with external systems outside of the enterprise, such as those in distribution and supply chains.

As a result of this complexity, the potential for errant code and human error is multiplied tenfold. Complexity also makes it challenging for operations to quickly and accurate respond to changing conditions in the IT environment. All of this can lead to performance degradation and network downtime.

Traditional Methods No Longer Cut It

IT component and data protection methods of the past – like backup, recovery and mirroring – are no longer sufficient for ensuring business continuity. Take, for instance, the case of a critical database becoming contaminated due to an erroneous application entry. Traditional recovery methods would only back up the contaminated data, further perpetuating the problem.

Furthermore, manual system-management is no longer a viable business practice. Complexity has grown to a point that even the most skilled IT professionals are not capable of handling. This opens the door to even greater risk of human error. Manual procedures can also slow reaction times, which can lead to issues with performance. Lastly, manual processes are incredibly difficult to audit, making them a compliance risk as well.

Intelligent Automation to the Rescue

To fortify business continuity, organizations must augment their manual system-management processes and their existing disaster recovery methods with protection that is more comprehensive. That’s where intelligent automation comes into play. An IA platform uses software to automatically perform IT service management workflows. And because it is powered by artificial intelligence, these platforms can even make decisions independent of human input based on business policy and impact.

Intelligent automation presents a number of valuable benefits, particularly in terms of facilitating business continuity. First, it overcomes the complexity of the IT infrastructure and ensures that ITSM functions are carried out in a consistent and timely fashion based on specified best practices. As a result, the risk of error is dramatically reduced and a fully auditable trail is created to ensure regulatory compliance.

Additional benefits of intelligent automation include, but are not limited to:

  • Fewer failed IT infrastructure changes
  • Reliable service quality even through changing conditions
  • Detection and elimination of contaminated data
  • Preservation of skills of mainframe personnel
  • Ensuring a more speedy and successful recovery from disasters

Is your organization adequately prepared to handle potential downtime? Intelligent automation can strengthen and improve your business continuity strategy, lowering the chances of an incident and limiting the damages from those events that do occur.

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