Chapter 7. Evaluating the cost of your solution 181
Regulatory interest in the use of customer data continues to increase pressure
on business to place greater audit control over access to systems and data.
Infrastructure simplification can help to provide tighter centralized control over
this valuable but highly sensitive company asset.
A comprehensive security policy is essential. However, it can add significant
expense through the need for specialist personnel and administration of a
burgeoning array of software and hardware security components.
IBM mainframes are recognized as one of the most secure server platforms in
terms of technology design and supporting software, such as RACF. Making this
robust and proven security infrastructure available to applications can drastically
simplify development effort and cut project time scales. Combine this with the
inherent security capabilities within DB2 UDB for z/OS and you have a
trustworthy security framework to support the growing needs of today’s world of
On Demand Business.
Customer and user support
Infrastructure and application simplification can lead to reduced training costs
and may mean better utilization of existing staff. Support staff costs encompass
both external customer and internal user departments. The number of diverse
applications and systems will affect the number of personnel needed to provide
end user assistance.
Experienced and consistently trained help desk staff are an expensive resource,
even when out sourced to a third party. This is recognized by the extensive use of
agency resource and automated, self-help solutions. The increasing adoption of
Web-based interfaces helps to standardize the look and feel of applications.
However it does not remove platform-specific knowledge needed for technical
7.2.6 Quality of service
Quality of service (QoS) affects how business users and external customers
perceive aspects and characteristics of the IT applications with which they
interface. The cost impacts of bad QoS are indeterminate, from a customer’s
decision not to return, through bad press and a drop in share price.
Note: As with the infrastructure virtualization initiative, there is a long-term
objective to make the mainframe like “any other server” in regard to user
interaction. Business users, support staff, and developers will be relieved from
the burden of learning platform-specific skills.
182 The Business Value of DB2 UDB for z/OS
The following sections list considerations that you should take into account when
you attempt to qualify system experience and its impact on the business.
In regard to customer experience, weigh the following considerations.
Poor performance: Response times
You may supply the desired product or service. But consider how many users
give up before reaching the checkout due to slow response or cumbersome
If your system is not there when your customers want it, day or night, your
customers have plenty of alternatives available to them.
Repeat business: Customer returns
In the online world, there are always numerous results from a search for
service or product. You may not be chosen a second time if the experience
was not as expected, and expectations today are extremely high.
Additional business: Customer referral
A customer may discuss a bad experience of your system with friends, family,
and colleagues but it won’t achieve desirable benefits.
In regard to the business experience, consider these items.
Business Intelligence (BI) gathering
The thriving industry in products and services around BI reflects the value
being placed on the effective use of enterprise data. Many companies take
the option to extract, maintain, and query operational data copies remote from
the master source. With distributed systems and the lack of single source, the
collection, collation, and audit of data may become complex and costly.
IT department responsiveness
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) advocates the re-assessment of the
IT-business relationship with the IT department becoming a true service
provider to the enterprise. The business takes greater ownership of IT
requirements and starts to evaluate ROI of the service provided in respect to
measurable business value.
An effective and simplified IT infrastructure is imperative to provision a