2018 Posted by Carol Davis-Mann

The Mainframe is growing and here’s the proof!

We don’t like to say “we told you so” but…….the Mainframe is growing and here’s the proof!

It’s not unusual for us to be countering arguments that the Mainframe is dead so we were delighted to read the recent BMC report on the Mainframe. In this insightful survey BMC have busted 5 common myths about the Mainframe:

  1. Organisations have fully optimized their mainframes for maximum availability
  2. The mainframe is in maintenance mode, and no one is modernising it
  3. Executives are planning to replace their mainframes
  4. Younger IT professionals are pessimistic about careers on the mainframe
  5. Only older people work on the mainframe today

Let’s take a closer look at some of the stats:

The BMC report highlighted the following key priorities for its’ respondents:

  1. Cost reduction/optimisation
  2. Data privacy/compliance
  3. Availability
  4. Application modernization

It’s no surprise to see cost reduction and optimisation hitting the top spot. 71% of large shops (identified as more than 10,000 MIPS) experienced MIPS growth in the last year and forecast more growth in the next 12 months. With this expected rise in MIPS growth, organisations need to take control of peak mainframe workloads.

Find out how you can reduce costs with our Mainframe Cost Reduction service

Myth 1 was busted with the result which showed that 66% of respondents indicated business requirements are driving them to focus on reducing their maintenance windows. Myth 1 stated that “organisations have fully optimized their mainframes for maximum availability” but we can see from these results that this simply is not the case.

A very interesting stat was that 42% of respondents said that application modernisation is a priority in the next year and a top focus for these organisations is modernising to take advantage of updated technology. This firmly busts Myth 2 about the Mainframe being in maintenance mode.

The future of the Mainframe

Attitudes towards the Mainframe are beginning to change. The Mainframe is increasingly being viewed as a long-term strategic asset.

The survey results showed that an overwhelming 91% of respondents view the mainframe as a long-term, viable platform – up from 89% in 2016. These stats smash Myth 3, that executives are planning to replace Mainframes.

Some of the most surprising results of the survey were around the changing workforce. Myths 4 and 5 are well and truly busted here. 46% of respondents fell into the 30-49 age bracket. So rather than the majority of Mainframe workers nearing retirement as is often thought, these results show that a large proportion are actually in the lower “mid-career” group. This group is very positive about the future of the Mainframe. 45% of these respondents hold executive positions and have a positive view of the platform with 69% saying that they foresee higher capacity growth.

More positive still were the results from the Millennials. Traditional thought would have us believing that this age group see no future for the Mainframe and have no interest in building their career on working with Mainframe technologies. However, 70% of these respondents expect the mainframe as a platform to grow and attract new workloads industry-wide.

The last group of stats we have pulled out of the survey are about women and their growing influence on the Mainframe platform. Women made up 20% of the respondents and interestingly have a higher proportion of executives in their population than men, with 43% of executive roles among women versus 35% of executive roles among men. The women surveyed were positive about the future of the Mainframe with two-thirds of them anticipating growth in their Mainframe workloads.

The Mainframe is growing but what challenges do organisations face as a result?

BMC identified 3 top challenges amongst its’ survey respondents:

  1. IBM software costs – 50%
  2. Cost of hardware – 44%
  3. Staffing/skills shortage – 44%

Whilst it’s good that respondents foresee MIPS growth on the Mainframe, meaning that the platform is viable for the future but it also means that organisations are facing ever growing Monthly Licence Charges from IBM. Mainframe cost reduction is something which Triton has been working on with customers for many years. Triton can help you to regain control of your software charges by running an audit of your current environment and identifying when and where the workload peaks occur. Find out more.

Staffing and skills shortages are still a key concern for many Mainframe sites. Triton Consulting provide flexible resourcing options to organisations who need to supplement their Mainframe skills. Our Consultancy on Demand solution allows organisations to access key skills as and when they are required. Hours can be used for training and skills transfer; to provide specific skills where they are lacking in the team or for specific project work. Working alongside the in-house team our highly experienced consultants can enable large Mainframe users to manage their resource requirements in a highly cost effective and flexible manner. Find out more about our Consultancy on Demand service.


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