The Business of IT Blog

Succeeding Amid Persistent Change as an Autonomous Digital Enterprise

4 minute read
Stephanie Grubbs

These days, economic volatility is a sure thing. Every day, the news has more examples of businesses preparing for (or reacting to) market changes with abrupt, sometimes severe cost-cutting measures. Businesses seeking a North Star to ensure stability and even greater success while weathering these kinds of changes can look to the Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE) framework.

The ADE is a digital-first business with distinct tech tenets and operating model characteristics that support transformation through actionable insights, business agility, and customer centricity. Providing actionable insights means leveraging data analytics tools and automation to gain broader perspectives, and using predictive intelligence to make better decisions, faster. Utilizing business agility means responding rapidly to demands and capitalizing on opportunities as soon as they arise, pivoting quickly when needed. Focusing on customer centricity means using technology to meet your customers where they want to be met and keeping your customers at the heart of every business decision you make.

The ADE Tenets in the Real World

The five distinct tech tenets of the Autonomous Digital Enterprise help maintain resiliency in times of constant disruptions. Let’s look at some real examples of how organizations can focus on the tech tenets.

A Transcendent Customer Experience gives people what they need, where and when they need it, in a highly personalized, frictionless way, allowing organizations to be the winners at attracting and retaining customers and employees. Take Southwest Airlines (SWA) as a cautionary tale. The 16,700 flights that SWA had to cancel over the recent holidays could cost the company as much as $825 million—but it’s harder to put a dollar value on the loss of reputation and trust from their customers.

The airline is reacting by providing frequent-flyer points to customers affected, launching a new sale to entice customers to fly with them again, and providing bonuses to impacted employees as part of their apology tour. SWA has the opportunity to prove now why their customers are important to them and go back to their roots of providing a great customer and employee experience on their journey.

Automation Everywhere is about driving efficiencies at scale. The pandemic brought automation into the mainstream, and it’s taken hold as a way to boost productivity inside and outside a business. As organizations scale back and refocus, automating everyday mundane tasks can help reduce costs associated with previously time-consuming, repetitive functions. It also frees up a business’s most valuable asset—its people—to do more important tasks, making them more productive and boosting retention.

While we’re talking about flight disruptions, how about mentioning the ground stop in the U.S. by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) on January 11, 2023. A database failure triggered the FAA to implement the first nationwide stop of air traffic in more than 20 years, and it turns out that the reason was human error. A contractor unintentionally deleted files while “working to correct synchronization between the live primary database and a backup database.” Human error is a part of any business, and despite recurring rumors, robots won’t be replacing humans any time soon, but the FAA has an extraordinary opportunity to adopt automation as they strive to follow the ADE framework.

Agility is the name of the game when your business operations are the only thing you can control amid outside influences. Enterprise DevOps enables the rapid and continuous delivery of applications and services by applying DevOps processes, tools, skills, teams, and leadership across the business. One way that BMC recommends embracing Enterprise DevOps is by integrating DevOps across the entire stack, including mainframe, distributed, and cloud.

Airlines like Southwest and government agencies like the FAA are the types of organizations using a mainframe to store their data. But that data must also integrate with many other applications seamlessly to provide a Transcendent Customer Experience by implementing automated tools across the organization. Enterprise DevOps is the next step in the journey to ensure that developers and operations teams on all sides of a business are working together.

A Data-Driven Business captures, correlates, and monetizes data enterprise-wide, generating high-value business cases with AI/ML while also optimizing and improving data extraction and analysis. There’s never been a better time to work with what you have, and every customer, partner, and stakeholder engagement yields valuable data—if you know what to do with it.

Ticketmaster famously went down when billions of people (and bots) tried to buy Taylor Swift concert tickets online recently. It’s claimed the downtime was due to, “the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes [driving] unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests—4x our previous peak.” While Ticketmaster believed that limiting the presale to “Verified Fans” who had to receive a code ahead of time would contain the demand to a reasonable amount, it was a perfect storm of the organization not understanding its data about Swifties and their propensity to buy concert tickets—especially for a tour postponed by the pandemic. It’s one thing to collect data, but a data-driven business will turn that data into actionable insights. And Ticketmaster’s woes aren’t over—parent company Live Nation just had to explain itself to a US Congressional committee.

Cyber threats continue to rise, and they can spike during times of socioeconomic turmoil. Implementing an Adaptive Cybersecurity posture can help you secure your business, your employee and customer data, and your devices with automated, AI-enabled, and crowdsourced threat detection that uses coordinated development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) strategies and a Zero Trust access and authentication framework.

Type the word “hack” into Google and click on the news icon and you’ll find out about the hacks that didn’t even make the feed of your normal news app. For example, T-Mobile’s recent hack in November with 37 million people affected was just one of many. Data breaches are starting to feel commonplace, but you can ensure that your company’s name isn’t in your customer’s next Google search if you ensure an Adaptive Cybersecurity posture.

Despite the above examples, (let’s be honest, companies only make the news when they’ve done something wrong), it’s not all doom and gloom. Organizations likes yours can continue to adapt and succeed amid ongoing geopolitical and socioeconomic turbulence and threats of recession. You can’t dictate future disruptions, but you can control how you respond to them. By adopting pervasive technologies for innovation and business growth and following the tech tenets of the Autonomous Digital Enterprise, you can be future-ready and primed for success, whatever comes to pass. Learn more at

Autonomous Digital Enterprise - Evolve and Stay Competitive

Organizations must embrace intelligent, tech-enabled systems across every facet of the business to thrive during seismic changes—in short, become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Stephanie Grubbs

Stephanie Grubbs is a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager on the Strategic Marketing Team. She has worked as a Solutions Marketing Manager for BMC's mainframe cost optimization offerings prior to this. Stephanie has over 9 years of experience in software consulting, program management, and marketing.