Mainframe Blog

Is Your Organization a Digital Enterprise? Take the Test

Jay Lipovich
3 minute read
Jay Lipovich


In a recent seminar on mainframe systems management, attendees were asked if they worked for a digital enterprise.  Almost no one raised their hand.  Attendees worked for some of the most traditional industries – banks, insurance, telecoms, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and government – and all used mainframes as a key part of their IT operation.

After asking the initial question, we then revealed what their organizations were telling their customers via their own websites, which indicate they are, in fact, digital enterprises.

Nearly every organization today is engaging with customers via digital channels – mobile devices such as smart phones, wearables and tablets, and a wide and changing array of social media.  One way to tell if yours is a digital enterprise is to take a look at what you are telling your customers on your web site.  Here are six signs of a digital enterprise and the “tip off” terms to look for on your customer-facing web presence.

Spotting Digital Promises

Signs – Digital Promises “Tip off” Terms that Indicate a Digital Enterprise
Services available via mobile devices “Any Device”, “Anywhere”, “Download Our App”, “On the go”, “Convenient”
Continuous (24/7/365) availability “Anytime”,, “Always” , “Whenever”
Instantaneous response expectations “Instantly”, “Don’t need to wait”, “Quick”, “Real-time”
Any data welcome “Checks”, “Video”, “ID cards”
“Push”-type personalized offerings “Alert”, “Notices”, “Warnings” , “Remind”
Simple completion of customer interactions “Easy”, “Few taps”, “Personalized”

Take the Test

Take the test yourself – review your customer-facing web site and see how many of the “tip off” messages you are using with your customers.  See how many of the signs of a digital enterprise apply to your organization, then explore what these signs imply about the expectations of your IT systems in the chart below.

Digital Promises and IT Impacts

Signs – Digital Promises “Tip off” Messages IT Implications
Services available via mobile devices “Anywhere”, “Any Device”, “Download Our App”, “On the go”, “Convenient” More rapid application changes. Re-write legacy applications to support mobility. Cost reduction to support mobile development. Transaction volume increase but not necessarily much revenue increase.
“Always” (24/7/365) availability “Anytime”, “Whenever”, “Always” Faster MTTR to reduce outages; reduced planned outage times; hyperspeed recovery capabilities.
Instantaneous performance expectations “Instantly”, “Quick”, “Real-time”, “Don’t need to wait” Higher SLA expectations; reduced MTTR times;
Any data welcome “Checks”, “Video”, “ID cards” Maintenance /backup/recovery of unstructured data; impacts on data base performance. Increased risk.
“Push”-type personalized offerings “Alert”, “Remind”, “Notices”, “Warnings” Increased analytics, access to customer data bases; increased network activity.
Simple execution of complex actions “Easy”, “Few taps”, “Personalized” More complex internal transactions; increased technology interactions (eg, legacy + Java)


So does it matter if your company IS a digital enterprise?

You can see from the chart that digital engagement has far-reaching impacts on your IT systems, particularly for the venerable IBM® mainframe. Most significantly, digital engagement presupposes changes in the way you manage the performance, availability and cost of your mainframe.  The volume, volatility and variety of transactions and data driven by digital engagement combine with the instantaneous performance expectations of digital customers to rewrite everything in systems management, from the seconds you will have to find and fix problems before they become fodder for social discussions, to the few minutes each month you may be left with to maintain and backup your critical data.  So if yours truly is a digital enterprise, have you planned for how to manage your mainframe to support it?  For more ideas on this, check out this white paper on Optimizing Mainframes for Digital Business. And if cost reduction is a challenge for your mainframe, here are papers that can help:

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

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About the author

Jay Lipovich

Jay Lipovich

G. Jay Lipovich is a Principal Product Manager for mainframe systems management and cost optimization at BMC Software. He has many years’ experience in the design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure and data management. This includes design strategy and performance evaluation for a mainframe hardware vendor; infrastructure performance consulting for industry and US government agencies; and design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure management solutions. He has published numerous articles in trade journals defining approaches to infrastructure performance management and cost optimization. Mr. Lipovich is ITIL Foundation and CDE certified.