Wednesday, September 19, 2018

State of the Mainframe 2018



Every year BMC Software conducts a survey of mainframe usage that provides a unique insight into the trends, topics, and over outlook for mainframe computing. And every year I look forward to digesting all of the great information it contains. The results were presented in a webinar on September 19th (the date of this post).
This year’s survey contains responses from over 1,100 executives and technical professionals ranging in age from 18 to 65+ years old, and with experience levels of 30+ years to less than a year on the job. People were surveyed across a multitude of industries, company sizes, and geographies. And the consensus is that mainframe is key to the future of digital business.
At a high level, the survey indicates that we are working to scale and modernize the mainframe to support new business. And part of that is embracing DevOps practices in the mainframe environment to optimize application delivery.
With a heritage of more than 50 years of driving mission-critical workloads, the mainframe continues to be a powerful and versatile platform for existing and new workloads. Yes, organizations are embracing the mainframe for the new world of mobile computing, analytics, and digital transformation. And that include modernizing mainframe applications because critical apps continue to grow in size and importance. Modernization efforts range from increased usage of Java to API development and encrypting sensitive data. And 42% say that application modernization is priority.

The mainframe’s strengths are many, as this survey clearly shows. Year after year, mainframe strengths have included high availability, strong security, centralized data serving, and transaction throughput – and those strengths were again highlighted this year. But a new strength this year is that new technology is available on the platform. It is clear that IBM’s hard work to ensure that the mainframe can be used with new technology has succeeded and respondents acknowledge its adoption of new stuff while keeping the heart of the business running.
There are a lot of these types of insights in this report, and you should definitely download the report and read it yourself. But here are a few additional highlights that I want to make sure you do not miss out on reading about:
  • Executives (93% of them) believe in the long-term viability of the mainframe.
  • The mainframe remains as the most important data server at many shops. 51% of survey respondents cite that more than half of their data resides on the mainframe.
  • And most of the primary growth areas are trending up in terms of mainframe growth. Mainframe environments are handling significant increases in the number of databases and transaction volumes as well as an increasing trend in data volume.



And 70% of large companies are forecasting that the mainframe will experience capacity growth over the course of the next 2 years.

Of course, challenges remain. According to the survey the top three challenges are the same as they have been recently: cost control, staffing and skills shortages, and executive perception of the mainframe as a long-term solution. So we, as mainframe proponents need to keep banging the drum to get the word out about our favorite, and still viable, platform for enterprise computing – the mainframe.
So download the survey and read all about the state of the mainframe 2018… because the future of the platform is bright, and it will only get brighter with your knowledge and support.

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