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Transaction Integrity Is Integral to Business Success

No matter what your business sells, where it operates or who its customers are, its ongoing success might ultimately depend on the answers to three simple questions:

  1. Can your customers and value chain partners trust you to correctly and efficiently complete their business transactions?

  2. Can you trust your IT systems to ensure that those interactions are being properly completed, recorded and applied?

  3. Do you understand the costs of failing to ensure transaction integrity (TI)?

First, let’s define TI: It’s the assurance that the results you expected are being achieved, whether you’re updating a file, monitoring pricing accuracy or ensuring that a customer’s loyalty program account is up-to-date and correctly recorded. Essentially, we’re talking about the ability to ensure that your business transactions are being fully and accurately captured and applied. TI goes beyond simply tracking and accounting for goods and services being bought or sold. It applies to the exchange of information on the atomic level. TI underpins virtually all operations of the organization.

Accordingly, it should be a vital concern to every business. People across the organization have to rely on that data to make correct business decisions. Customers—individual consumers, internal business units or value-chain partners—must be sure the transactions they conduct with your business are being completed and are correct. Virtually every transaction—whether it’s completing a sale, recording and updating customer profile information, tracking inventory or sharing data with business partners—is essential to providing that assurance.

TI for Today

TI is critically important, according to IBM Fellow Rob High of the IBM Software Group. An industry pioneer in service oriented architecture (SOA) research and a TI expert, High has helped IBM become an industry leader in this evolving area of technology.

“Let us take a simple example,” he says. “If you’re updating an account in a database, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in IT and responsible for the applications being run or if you’re in a line of business and are responsible for those business transactions. What you want to know is that the update did, in fact, occur, and that it has been recorded correctly.”

The importance of getting to this certainty has been magnified by the astonishing rise in the volume and complexity of transactions occurring across today’s business landscape. Internet commerce and pervasive mobile devices have dramatically altered the game as more users make simultaneous requests for information or services. These are all transactions, and their massive volumes threaten to overwhelm existing infrastructure.

Bruce Armstrong is a strategy and design manager for IBM Software Group. He has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry and is a frequent speaker on IBM technology and strategy for z/OS environments.

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