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Configurations define relationships between SSIDs (Subsystem Service identifiers).
                    define the precedence and order in which work is to be started and stopped,
                    define prerequisite conditions and ensure they are met

Services depend on others. You cannot submit a job until JES is running, so JES running is a prerequisite for services that require JES. If you want to shut JES down, all of those processes that depend on it must end first. JES2 even has interlocks that will prevent it from completing a proper shutdown if prerequisites are not met.

Bringing services up and down in the wrong order wastes time and can lead to interlocks. This becomes especially true for users with 50 or more subsystem services. Using configurations for groups of interrelated services ensures maximum responsive time when changing the state of only part of the system, without affecting non related parts.

Say for instance, if there is a batch window, in which CICS must not be running, it is simple to define a configuration for CICS, and have a scheduled operation issue a state change command.

A configuration may be specified to make reference to another configuration, in determining its state. As long as the groupings are logical, any CONFIG may specify that any another CONFIG be in a specified state. So configurations are built hierarchically, with groups of services specified to start and stop in order of dependencies.

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