IBM briefings following Impact 2012 raised the idea that in any number of ways the Internet, Web—online computing—badly needs refreshing. And it applies as much to zEnterprise shops as it does to Power and System x shops. Especially with leading zEnterprise shops like Nationwide deploying WebSphere the zEnterprise has landed right in the latest WebSphere v8.5 action.
The online experience certainly has changed. It’s a familiar litany of change: mobile, cloud, big data, social networking, gamification. (All recently covered by DancingDinosaur.) And the devices to connect—15 billion mobile devices alone expected by 2015 plus the usual array of laptops, netbooks, desktops, thin devices—create a huge universe of diverse users that will be accessing data and applications through your data center.
When was the last time you reassessed your organization’s Internet, intranet, or online strategy? Given the explosion on new online options and audiences, it may pay to revamp your Internet and intranet approach for customers, employees, and partners.
Given recent factoids: online retailers may (?) have lost $44.6B in 2010 due to online customer experience problems (Harris Interactive) or another—disengaged workers cost U.S. businesses as much as $350 billion a year (Gallup Research)—it makes sense at least to revitalize the online user experience.
WebSphere is emerging as IBM’s primary vehicle for refreshing the online environment. For the zEnterprise, it becomes the primary bridge to the Web. WebSphere will handle mobile apps through the latest releases of Worklight and the IBM Mobile Foundation, which also includes IBM Cast Iron for simplified backend connectivity to disparate systems. Cast Iron also provides new Web API services capabilities for the rapid assembly of services as well as governed secure gateways. IBM’s Endpoint Manager for Mobile devices handles both BYOD and corporate devices.
Appliances, like IBM’s Gateway XG45 appliance for web services and WebSphere DataPower, also loom large in this refreshed IT environment. To that end, WebSphere brings the Appliance Management Center to deliver policy-based configuration and firmware deployment for appliance clusters.
New for the zEnterprise is WebSphere’s IBM Business Process Manager Advanced v8 on z/OS. This is intended to modernize and extend zEnterprise operations. System z data centers can use it to bolster existing mission-critical z/OS applications, modernize for new business opportunities, and unify process solutions seamlessly across distributed and zEnterprise environments.
To create exceptional overall customer and worker online experiences IBM recommends bringing together the essential capabilities to create, manage, and deliver engaging multi-channel web experiences. To that end, IBM has pulled together a set of tool addressing both external customers and internal workers and partners. You can check out the IBM Customer Experience Suite here and the IBM Intranet Experience Suite here
When the Internet first emerged the mainframe sat mainly in the background acting as a big server that passed data and processing results to intermediate servers feeding the growing information appetite of web users. Now, in the age of hybrid computing, public/private/hybrid clouds, and mobile and social networking the zEnterprise can play a much more active and central role. And there is good reason for zEnterprise shops to do just that: organizations that have optimized engagement, according to Gallup Research, outperformed their competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth.