By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software
Technologists and industry pundits love to declare technologies “dead.” One of those technologies is the mainframe which, for so long, has been the backbone of enterprise businesses.
So, how about it: is the mainframe dead?
Rocket Software set out recently to answer that very question – and the answer is a resounding no. Between December 2021 and January 2022, Rocket surveyed over 500 U.S. IT professionals in firms using mainframes to understand their priorities, challenges and plans for leveraging their mainframes going forward.
The findings were intriguing, to say the least. Despite the promise of new technologies that drive digital transformation efforts, it is the mainframe that continues to dominate IT infrastructure. More than half (56%) of respondents say the mainframe still makes up the most of their IT infrastructure, followed by private cloud (20%) and distributed (15%). This illustrates the effectiveness and reliability of the mainframe and its ongoing role as a critical element in IT environments.
What else did we learn?
- Four out of five respondents say the mainframe is extremely or very critical to their organization’s business operations. This underscores the importance of mainframes on digital business: where they are being used, they are the foundation of the digital business. Layers of technology within enterprises rely on mainframe data stores and processing power.
- Reliability, security, and efficiency continue to drive mainframe usage and adoption and, in these chaotic times, speak to the dire need for business resiliency and continuity. All of these are delivered with mainframe technology, but organizations are looking for ways to continually pursue their digital transformation goals without compromising on these capabilities.
- Modernizing, not re-platforming, drives investment. More than half of respondents are choosing to modernize in place, as it has emerged as the preferred method of bringing the mainframe up to date with end-user expectations and customer demands. Nearly 40% said the strategic imperative for doing so is modernizing core infrastructure.
- With CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery), IT professionals can accelerate the code release process and help with deployment of new applications to improve value delivery for customers. When it comes to scaling DevOps efforts to their mainframe infrastructure, 44% of respondents say their organization uses multiple tools for DevOps functionality on mainframe applications – but nearly a quarter of respondents have a comprehensive platform for mainframe DevOps.
- Interestingly enough, remote work was not the biggest challenge related to ongoing maintenance performance management. One-quarter of respondents said it was increasing workloads on the mainframe due to distributed and cloud systems. However, remote work is still a challenge. Nearly 30% of respondents whose organizations are running all their core business applications on the mainframe are more likely to say remote work is their greatest challenge to mainframe performance management.
There is no denying the importance of mainframes within the enterprises that use them – they are still unsurpassed in their powerful capacity and security. These features are necessary for efficiently and safely delivering data for business processes across disparate IT environments. I encourage you to download the full report to see what other best practices organizations are implementing as the mainframe remains a priority.
To learn more, download Rocket Software’s 2022 Survey Report: The State of the Mainframe.