Insight

Roll Your Sleeves Up: Getting the Batch Basics Right

A Two-Minute Read

Are you a technology leader in an organisation that has a large and complex batch estate? Batch processing is still a fundamental part of workloads and many organisations run thousands of applications, each with many jobs and job steps. There is often a complex inter-relationship between these jobs as and this contributes to the challenges in supporting and managing them. For many organisations, batch processing continues to be a mission-critical component and will be for some time.

Even with a greater than 99% batch success rates there are still plenty of threats and opportunities that can cause issues for your business, and ultimately create poor business outcomes.  Many of these can be easily mitigated or realised by simply ‘rolling up your sleeves’ and getting under the covers of your legacy applications. How should you start your analysis if you are running millions of jobs across your estate every month?

In our experience, the best way to do this is to start with a clear view of the applications underpinning your material customer journeys and then analyse the likelihood and impact of any failures. The information you need is already contained within your logs and schedules. The key is to be able to navigate through multiple information sources, many of which will have gaps due to the age of the systems. To help with this we have developed the Batch Prioritisation Matrix to help us do just this on large resilience programme and optimisation programmes.

On a large resilience programme, by using this approach, we ensured our client was in a much better position to manage their estate. First of all, they had a detailed view of the batch estate. They were able to deliver a remediation plan that reduced likelihood, and impact, of material batch failures affecting reputational risk and service. Finally they were able respond in an accurate, timely and proportionate way to external auditors and regulators.  By looking at a number of these parameters, such as redundant and long running jobs, we were also able to identify small tuning initiatives that delivered a 40% reduction in operational costs and helped avoid planned £9m infrastructure costs.

Sometimes the best solutions are the simple ones. Our work in this area may not be at the leading edge of new technologies, however, we help you focus on the basics of your technology estate. It is too easy to let sleeping dogs lie with large and complex batch runs and often they can be a great source of benefits to you, your customers and your stakeholders.

We will be sharing more ideas in future chapters of Roll Your Sleeves Up so keep a lookout for them.