The mainframe is hindering application delivery

According to research by Forrester and Compuware many of these businesses struggle to deliver application improvements at the speed of today’s digital business and run the risk of not meeting customer experience and product expectations.

Enterprises relying on the mainframe is a serious issue as the majority of new business initiatives involve the mainframe and by attempting to accelerate application delivery, some companies are exacerbating the situation.

For example, 48% of respondents said they move some applications off the mainframe, but find that results in security issues, higher costs, degraded performance and project delays.

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Similarly, 41% attempt to work around the mainframe. This leads to greater complexity, higher costs, duplicate tooling and increased security risks. 40% attempt to modernise on the mainframe platform, but struggle with long transition times, Java performance issues and inadequate tools to help with application understanding.

The research found that companies are successfully addressing these challenges by applying proven DevOps best practices to their mainframe environments.

For instance more than 40% of respondents claimed that such practices have resulted in shorter development cycles and faster response to business needs. At the same time 35% have achieved improved customer experiences through proven DevOps best practices and 34% have realised cost savings by embracing innovations in mainframe DevOps.

“Organisations face both business and technical challenges on the mainframe, preventing them from innovating and transforming into a digital business. To avoid issues with the mainframe, organisations are working around it, re-platforming, or modernising. However, each of these tactics creates new issues. The good news is that those companies embracing DevOps deliver faster and at a higher quality, all while fostering collaboration,” said Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley

Compuware, which commissioned the study, has been aggressively leading the transformation of the mainframe into a fully Agile and DevOps-enabled platform where development, testing and operations processes can occur at the same rapid pace as they do on distributed and cloud platforms.

>See also: 7 tricks to get millennials working on the mainframe

This cross-platform agility empowers large enterprises to enjoy the mainframe’s significant advantages in terms of reliability, scalability, performance, economics and security—without sacrificing the rapid time-to-market essential for competing in a digital world.

“Enterprises that mistakenly allow their mainframe environments to languish in outdated processes and archaic tools will suffer the consequences of being too slow—which includes customer defection and, a continual state of managed decline,” said O’Malley.

As a result “smart enterprise CEO are investing in mainframe modernisation that transforms their systems of record from inhibitors of digital success to catalysts of competitive advantage”.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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