Mainframe Blog

Digital Data Management: Seize the Opportunity

3 minute read
John Barry

Digital-Data-Management_700x400 Whether DBA’s know it or not, their companies are going digital. Take a look at your website and see if your business is promising customers “anytime access” or “mobile access” to the data you manage. If it is, whether you like it or not, you’re now part of the digital economy!

The new digital economy revolves around the speed and availability of customer data. Data is accessed from all around the globe at all times and data access is no longer a predictable occurrence. Your data must be online at all times, or you will lose customers. With a sense of entitlement they’ve grown accustomed to, customers want instant access to their data. There are very few barriers to switching providers, and your competitors are actively working to eliminate those. With a few swipes, or clicks, or (yes) even an old school phone call, we can switch phone providers, open a new bank account, or save money on our insurance.

What does this mean to you?

According to IBM, 91 percent of customer-facing applications access a mainframe. IT executives and administrators must ask themselves whether Db2 and their most important asset — their data — are ready for a digital transformation. Db2 was once a beautiful, simple relational database. Db2 on z Systems® only vaguely resembles what it looked like in the early 1980s, though data management techniques and solutions work exactly the same way. The data we manage today is complicated by XML, LOBs, and other unstructured data. Db2 is now a high-transaction repository for enterprise-critical data, both structured and unstructured, and is capable of handling hundreds of terabytes or more of data in tens of thousands or more objects with 2.5B transactions a day. The old techniques simply can’t keep up.

Db2 customers must ask themselves if data management solutions that were “good enough” yesterday are truly good enough today. Performance gains achieved in current tools are measured incrementally, while the data and complexity of managing data is growing exponentially. DBAs are forced to create innovative work-arounds and sacrifice the needs of the business in order to mitigate the limitations of their database tools. At the same time, the mainframe space is struggling to recruit new talent. The dwindling skillset in mainframe and Db2 is an underestimated risk to corporations. The complexity involved in today’s digital data management requires deep knowledge and expertise coupled with innovative, customer-centric solutions.

Change is constant, and so are opportunities

While not always easy, change will happen and is happening around us every day. Organizations often find themselves in a reactive mode, handling issues as they arise and “fighting fires” rather than planning ahead. In today’s digital, connected world, this is no longer good enough. Customers have no patience. Database errors and performance problems will be broadcast on social media before DBAs are even aware of the problem.

And so the opportunity is presenting itself. Can DBAs be empowered to manage all this digital data? Can your company provide continuous uptime as well as the access speed expected of your customers? Are there digital solutions? The answer to all these questions is “yes.” Automation and optimization are the keys to succeed in the digital transformation. Implementing the right software tools can simplify digital data management and automate tasks for scalable and streamlined operation. With a constantly optimized database with digital tools in place, you achieve a greater level of visibility and control within Db2 and the mainframe so you’re prepared for the increase in customers seeking to access data. And working with a trusted partner can ensure that you optimize your costs as well as your infrastructure and data.

Modern Db2 environments require digital-ready data management solutions that modernize and simplify processes in order to successfully handle the complexities and demands of the digital age. Planning ahead on your part will ensure a successful experience for your customers and those who embrace the opportunity will enable unprecedented growth for their business.

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About the author

John Barry

John Barry has more than 20 years of Db2 experience, dating back to V5 of Db2 and every subsequent version since. He is currently the Principal Product Manager for the BMC Solutions for Db2. John is a regular speaker at area user groups around the world and has worked with Db2 installations to help them reduce cost and manage growing volumes of data through improved automation strategies for Db2 data management.