The Difficulties of Manual System and Audit Reporting
If you’ve spent any time in the QHST history log, you might be thinking that they couldn’t pay you enough to mess around in that mine field. Completely understandable.
QHST is essentially an audit trail for activities happening on your IBM i. You can view QHST log entries for things like subsystems starting or ending, see what was saved during a recent backup and what failed, or track when a job was submitted, when it ran, and whether it completed. The system collects these log file entries automatically and they cannot be changed.
While QHST contains a ton of information, each individual entry is skeletal and disconnected from the others. What’s worse, QHST log file entries cannot be queried like information in a database file.
Trying to piece together a summary of your processing for any given day manually is incredibly complex and time consuming. As an alternative, you may have tried to cobble together a command line program (CLP) that would bring QHST data into a database and combine related entries before attempting to interpret the results. Either way, you will never get a complete picture from QHST for the simple reason that QHST doesn’t take your business logic into account.
Over the long-term, supporting in-house CL programs as your business needs or features in the operating system change will be expensive, both in terms of money and man-hours. Not meeting business rules or service-level agreements, whether contracted or implied, can also incur penalty fees or result in loss of business due to downtime.
The bottom line? System and audit reporting is messy. The information exists, it’s just fragmented across a bunch of different logs and message queues. However, reporting is an essential yet easily neglected part of your job, so it’s important to make the process easy so it doesn’t slow you down. The good news? You can enter your specific business rules and audit requirements into system and audit reporting automation software to create a complete audit trail and simplify system and audit reporting.
We can really satisfy auditor demands. For example, I think the Good Morning Report is worth a million bucks. You come in, you look at it, and you can know what ran normally and what didn’t. Auditors like that.
Harry Ramsey, Manager of Software Application Development, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Why Automated System and Audit Reporting Is Essential
First, you are both the audited and the auditor of your own operations. In either case, you want to have an ironclad audit trail ready to report. Second, you seek the truth. Being aware of your current operations allows you to see problem areas and make smart changes that can support business growth. We call that IT Operations Analytics or ITOA.
Reporting can quickly become busywork if you can’t access the information you want in order to tell the story you need. With sophisticated automation software, your team can take advantage of built-in reporting or use an external query tool to produce the evidence auditors require.
Automation software with built-in system and audit reporting functionality can also present all your system and audit trail information in a user-friendly interface, making it easy for you to see where your operations stand today so you will know where to make changes to support business growth and new regulations in the future.
Enable IT Operations Analytics
The Robot solution from HelpSystems helps you manage your system and audit reporting needs by automatically documenting your workload success and failure, actions taken on messages, changes to a job setup, and more.
Centralize and summarize related data
Customize the information you view—including data from critical applications—in a user-friendly interface and link to the corresponding entries in QHST, where applicable.
Gain visibility into service-level agreements
Qualify business rules and accommodate for overlapping rules that may exist for all processes in your data center, regardless of platform, without having to involve Development.
Track and report on events automatically
Receive exception notification so you have early awareness and can take action on conditions that could threaten your system performance or service levels.
Control who has access to historical data
Keep an audit trail of who has received and viewed the reports you create.
Establish long-term viability for your reporting architecture
Archive reports so you can save or purge the data regularly to comply with report retention requirements.
Robot Simplifies System and Audit Reporting
IBM i, Windows, UNIX/AIX, Linux
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