BMC has released the results of their 11th annual mainframe survey. BMC partners with multiple other parties to collect data and to release the results (e.g. IBM Systems Magazine). This assures they have input from a variety of sources, including non-BMC customers. The resulting expanded range of opinions increases the value of the data.
- If the “death of the mainframe” needed more debunking, this survey certainly does so. It shows there will be no funeral services held for the mainframe anytime soon. Last year 90% of the survey respondents indicated they saw a long-term future for the mainframe. This year that number declined all the way to 89%. Not a statistically significant difference!
- The general population of companies, on average, keep more than 50% of their data on the mainframe. 70% of large organizations see their mainframe capacity increasing in the next 24 months.
- In large (and other) enterprises, Digital business appears to be driving higher mainframe workload growth.
- Smaller organizations are more likely to forecast declining use of the mainframe.
- In contrast, those companies that are increasing their mainframe usage take a long term view of the mainframe and its value. They tend to be more effective at leveraging the platform. They want to provide a superior customer experience, hence they modernize operations, add capacity and increase workloads. They view mainframe security and high availability as critically important differentiators in today's market marked by escalating transaction rates, data growth and rapid response times.
Other interesting insights
- The first group representing 58% of those surveyed say that mainframe usage in their organization is increasing.
- The second group (23%) say that usage is steady.
- The third group (19%) say that usage is reducing.
Figure 1 Top Mainframe Priorities – Chart courtesy of BMC
- Cost reduction/optimization – 65%
- Data privacy/compliance/security – 50%
- Application availability – 49%
- Application modernization – 41%.
Future Possible Questions
- How many projects were undertaken to move work off the mainframe? What were the results? What were the factors contributing to the project’s success or failure?
- Is (and how much is) the mainframe integrated into the overall datacenter operations? Or, is it an isolated island with mostly batch methods of integration?
- How many organizations are using IBM’s z/PDT, which simulates a mainframe on a PC or X86 system for development?
- What is the progress of DevOps modernization? This might connect to the previous point as z/PDT is Linux based and many developers prefer to use Linux tools, but also need access to mainframe data to test their applications.
Finally, the survey is a valuable tool for understanding the state of the mainframe, its user concerns, needs and priorities. BMC may want to consider extending the reach of the survey to include other organizations, i.e. user groups such as Share. In the meantime, we suggest that you visit the BMC website to discover insights that you can successfully leverage and apply in your operations.