Monday, 6th December 2021
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Mainframes making a digital difference

New offerings help customers improve software quality, reduce risk, and increase resilience.

BMC has released its 16th annual mainframe survey results and new and expanded capabilities within the BMC AMI (Automated Mainframe Intelligence) and BMC Compuware portfolios to fully support customers as they progress on their digital transformation journeys.

The survey finds leading organisations are investing in the mainframe, innovating with DevOps, and integrating systems and teams to drive digital transformation. BMC's latest offerings help companies address these priorities and more with enhancements that emphasise software quality to reduce risk, detect the causes of performance issues faster, and automate complex issues like compliance.

Champions drive mainframe innovation for business growth

After surveying more than 1,300 executives and technical professionals globally, it is clear the mainframe will continue to be instrumental in powering digital businesses in an unpredictable world. Among the findings:

•92 percent see the mainframe as a platform for long-term growth and new workloads

•86 percent of extra-large shops expect MIPS to grow while 72 percent of them have more than half their data on the mainframe

•66 percent of respondents are mainframe champions investing in new technologies such as AIOps and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), innovating to meet rising digital demands with DevOps, and integrating the mainframe into enterprise IT

•19 percent of respondents are mainframe laggards keeping their investment flat; they derive less value in new technologies on the platform and report relatively modest growth in mainframe data and apps

Shift-left automated testing enables faster delivery with better quality

Organisations are moving quickly to keep pace with the rising demand for new applications and services that deliver a better customer experience for internal and external users. According to the survey:

•39 percent of respondents cite application modernisation as a top priority

•88 percent of champions want to update applications with greater frequency, and 40 percent update every week or every other week

•43 percent of champions want to improve application quality with DevOps

•80 percent of champions yield value from their mainframe DevOps adoption within a year or less

In response to these demands and respondents citing test automation as a necessary capability, BMC has expanded shift-left automated testing capabilities in the BMC Compuware Topaz for Total Test solution. Development teams can now accelerate the delivery of innovations because fewer defects travel to the test environment. Manual testing that previously took days to complete can now be done in hours. In combination with the BMC Compuware zAdviser solution, mainframe DevOps practitioners of all skill levels can identify bugs and defects earlier in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) when they are less costly to fix.

"Mainframe is still the system of choice for companies that need high-transaction throughput with guaranteed reliability and consistent data. As mainframe data steadily becomes more complex with new uses for web and mobile applications, the need for mainframe DevOps adoption and AI-driven monitoring solutions rises exponentially," said Stephen Elliot, group vice president, I&O, Cloud Operations, and DevOps, IDC. "Organisations leveraging the mainframe should be adopting modern DevOps and AIOps solutions that improve visibility and management across the entire software and services chain to the end-user."

AI/ML enables innovation and improves performance

Businesses continue to invest in AI/ML to speed detection and analysis while simplifying workflows. According to the survey, extra-large shops prioritised implementation of AI/ML, with 57 percent of mainframe champions reducing the need for specialised skills with AIOps. The trend toward implementing new technologies on mainframes has also picked up, with 36 percent citing it as a key strength (up 11 percent since 2019.)

The BMC AMI Ops solution now includes more AI detection and analysis capabilities that are fully automated with real-time notifications and next-generation user interface (UI) enhancements to speed incident response times. Users can detect a wider range of problems, uncover more root causes sooner, and respond to performance issues faster with the solution’s expanded list of actions and simplified workflows.

Automated compliance ensures active security posture

Security was the most-named priority for the second year in a row (61 percent) among survey respondents. Sixty-three percent of mainframe champions are making security and compliance a top priority, and they are also 85 percent more likely than laggards to send mainframe data to an enterprise SIEM. In addition, champions streamline development and strengthen security across the enterprise – 42 percent have z/OS® Connect:Enterprise® in production.

While the mainframe is inherently securable, last year's shift to remote work proved that perimeter-based defenses are no longer enough, and an active approach is essential to ensure protection. Enhancements to the BMC AMI Security solution allow teams to automatically run Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) audits. This capability prevents compliance drift through real-time automatic alerts on changes to settings and removes configuration vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

"The survey results, which were validated early on with clients and analysts, are resoundingly clear: executive and technical professionals are confident that the mainframe remains a key part of their digital success," said John McKenny, senior vice president and general manager, Intelligent Z Optimisation and Transformation at BMC. "The innovations we delivered today as part of our team’s 28th quarterly release help mainframe champions continue to use the platform to drive significant value and empower others to use the mainframe as an engine of digital innovation."


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