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Real-time impact analysis is essential to agile development, cost optimization, risk reduction, and data-driven decision-making. Unfortunately, many enterprises are still doing impact analysis manually and ineffectively.

The Challenge of Manual Impact Analysis

The first problem with manual impact analysis has to do with the complexity of technologies. The information landscape in every enterprise is a collection of different technologies–legacy, modern and a hybrid of on-premises and in the cloud-based technologies. There is no single person within an enterprise who is well versed with all the technologies that are used to plumb the information flow and generate reports that are critical to the function of the enterprise.

The situation is further aggravated when companies outsource the maintenance or the upkeep of legacy systems to third parties. It is hard to question the bill from the outsourced company, when there aren’t enough experts in house who can question the cost estimation. In other words, enterprises cannot conduct meaningful and effective impact analysis without first automatically and comprehensively building a data inventory from their complex technology environment.

If an enterprise finds a way to understand where to source the information from and how trustworthy it is, they still have another challenge. Once the source where the change needs to be made has been identified, companies are then required to do an impact assessment. When this process is done manually, which is the case with most enterprises, it is time and cost intensive. Needless to say, it is also error prone. There are many stories where a change that seemed harmless, when deployed in production triggered a chain reaction of “non-impacted” systems as deemed by the manual efforts are impacted adversely. The cost to enterprises is prohibitive. The proliferation of datasets used by data scientists and the expansive test cases that testing teams need to run are all collateral damage.

The Automation Approach

Orion Governance’s Enterprise Information Intelligence (EIIG), an industry-leading self-defined data fabric, offers a fully automated impact analysis solution to help enterprises meet the challenge.

This solution begins with ingesting metadata from more than 70 technologies and weaving it into a knowledge graph. This enables organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their information landscape. Both intra- and inter-system connectivity is automatically established along with end-to-end data lineage. Enterprise teams can conduct impact analysis literally by clicking on a dataset and get results in seconds. That is how automated the solution is.

The Benefits of Impact Analysis

What are the benefits of EIIG’s automated, near real-time impact analysis?

This solution provides enterprises with a central point of control and removes fear of changes. EIIG is used to identify the dependencies between datasets and executables that are impacted by a proposed change. It enables small, reliable, and frequent changes that are essential to application development, data migration and compliance control.

EIIG enables enterprises to have comprehensive and accurate impact analysis. Since EIIG supports a wide range of technologies from the mainframe, AS400, DBMSs, ETL and Reporting tools, to programming languages such as python and Java, there is no broken lineage in their impact analysis. Because EIIG can get the DNA of complex data sets, impact analysis can also be conducted on a very granular level if needed and help eliminate inaccuracies. With EIIG, organizations can make rapid, complete, and accurate change impact plans and thus reduce change backlog.

Cost optimization and increased productivity is another key benefit of EIIG’s impact analysis solution. Enterprises will get fewer surprises and avoid wasted effort. Automation helps them shave off months of human capital intensive work. In addition, organizations become more agile with the ability to make small, reliable, and frequent changes.

About the Author: Niu Bai, Ph.D. is the Head of Global Business Development at Orion Governance, Inc. Connect with Niu on LinkedIn.

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