From Banks to Bananas, the Future of AI for IT Operations Has the Sweet Smell of Success!

June 14, 2022

The concept of AI has far-reaching promise and applicability across the business and technology landscape. Thanks to the growth of big data, machine learning, analytics, and blazing computational speeds, the use of artificial intelligence has matured and is now playing a critical role in every major vertical from banking to retail to logistics. This opens opportunities for organizations to combine the power of AI and mainframe to drive higher levels of operational resilience across their IT environment.

The Mainframe AI Revolution is Here

To compete, enterprises need to ensure that their business processes can scale and perform flawlessly to delight their customers. Whether purchasing groceries, booking a flight, or trading stock, consumers expect 24/7 sub-second response. Over the last two years, technology teams around the world have done an amazing job keeping things running during the pandemic, but there continue to be plenty of moving targets for them to deal with. Every day they face fresh challenges, and increasingly they are usingartificial intelligence (AI) as part of the solution.

There are applications for AI all around us, and its value runs deep. If you want to know how deep, go to the produce aisle and look at the banana bin. That's right. Artificial intelligence is used at every step from the plantation where the fruit grows to the store where shoppers can get rewards when they purchase bananas. A condition called Panama disease can destroy entire crops of bananas. That's why the International Center for Tropical Agriculture developed an AI-driven app to identify plants with transmissible issues. Once plants are determined to be safe, AI plays a critical role in getting bananas from farm to store by monitoring and tracking humidity and temperature controls during the entire shipping process. Savvy retailers also use AI to maximize sales by tracking consumer purchases and offering promotions to people who analytics show are most likely to make a purchase.

Evolving demands and pursuit of new opportunities reveal the limitations of traditional planning and operating models. In response, forward-thinking IT leaders have developed new ways to increase efficiency and respond to issues more accurately. This is where AI can now play a more vital role.

Welcome to the World of AIOps

With IT teams often siloed and operational data growing exponentially, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify, analyze, and troubleshoot issues before they impact the business. Broadcom applies the power of AI to IT operations, combining critical system data, machine learning, and automation, enabling organizations to manage complicated situations in real time. The result is a new level of operational resilience.

AIOps solutions scour millions of change events, logs, metrics, and workload trends across environments, subsystems, and application components. They detect recurring patterns that have led to problems in the past, and then surface potential issues to the operations team to investigate. They also tie insights into their automation systems, removing error-prone steps in the process. This reduces manual intervention so personnel can focus on higher value work.

The automation systems determine what action to take after AI discovers a deviation from the norm – for example, a CICS transaction consuming unusually high CPUs, indicating it could be in a loop. The key is creating automation you can trust with built-in feedback loops and guardrails to ensure the proper action is taken – that means building targeted AI systems with very specific purposes, permissions, and limitations so they don’t trigger unintended consequences. Put simply, AI proactively flags an issue, automation takes it from there, staying within the guardrails users specify to achieve an intended outcome. This balance is at the heart of how Broadcom approaches AI on the mainframe.

AIOps is all about enabling business outcomes      

  • Prioritizing Resources -- to optimize ROI based on data-driven insights 
  • Anticipating Problems -- to avoid issues before they have a chance to ruin an excellent user experience
  • Analyzing Faster -- to quickly identify root cause of issues     
  • Automating wherever possible -- to reduce manual effort and minimize errors

AI Drives Efficient, Resilient Operations on the Mainframe

AIOps on the mainframe empowers organizations to detect infrastructure issues sooner, diagnose them faster, and foster self-healing systems through outcome-driven automation. Those who use it gain the ability to transition from reactive recovery to proactive avoidance. The recent introduction of the powerful z16 and the Telum processor by IBM has created new opportunities for Broadcom solutions to drive further gains, spurring new levels of business and operational resilience as complexity continues to grow.

Banks provide an excellent example of how AI can empower IT organizations to solve critical business problems and adapt to current conditions in real-time. They rely on artificial intelligence to detect fraud in microseconds, rather than minutes or hours, allowing them to protect customer privacy and prevent losses. But, just as important as identifying problems is communicating those issues to stakeholders. Forward-thinking IT organizations are now transforming operational data into actionable insights that banks and other organizations use to create real-world benefits. For example, narrowing the possible source of an anomaly in Db2 network connections so other work can continue unimpeded.

AI Creates Trust

Every financial institution has security protocols, of course, but artificial intelligence can be used to detect potentially problematic behavior instantly. For example, if someone takes money out of an ATM in San Francisco and just three hours later makes a withdrawal in Hong Kong, there is most likely fraud in play. Traditional approaches to bank security might have taken several days to flag this activity and alert customers of a potential breach. AI allows them to get notified in seconds.

This is key to generating trust on the consumer end. And that same trust also plays an important role inside IT departments. 

Broadcom Brings AI to Life on the Mainframe

Broadcom offers a range of tools organizations around the world use to deploy AI solutions so they can get more from their hardware investments. AIOps and Automation solutions from Broadcom take customers beyond passive observability using AI algorithms fine-tuned for the mainframe to provide data in context and surface alerts that matter. One customer described it as having the ability to find that one important snowflake in a blizzard of alerts. 

The secret is augmenting human expertise with AI to produce increased transparency and actionable insights that drive more efficient automation. Businesses are reducing manual efforts by 40%, identifying root causes 5x faster, and predicting problems before they occur to keep operations up and running smoothly.

Now, that’s what true resilience looks like in a modern IT environment!

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Tag(s): Mainframe