Optimize Mainframe Costs: Bring Together Procurement and IT


A funny thing happened at the MLC Cost Reduction Workshop at BMC Engage in Orlando, which highlighted a way to optimize infrastructure and cost for mainframe systems. There were attendees at the workshop from procurement and from technical disciplines, such as capacity management, although they were not from the same companies. The workshop discussed the primary mainframe cost driver – Monthly License Charge (MLC) costs – and ways to reduce those costs to make the mainframe platform more cost effective, and attendees benefitted from having an industry MLC expert, David Wilson, of SZS Consulting, as an instructor.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants provided feedback on what was useful and on how to improve the experience. One of the suggestions, which was made by both a procurement attendee and a technical manager attendee, was to have both procurement and technical staff from the same company participate together. Attendees felt that the workshop could help procurement better understand the technical constraints that govern how software and workloads operate; and it could help technical staff understand the licensing and contracting issues which govern cost.

The workshop would provide a common ground for better understanding of each side of the cost equation – contracting and technical operation.

The benefits to an organization would be:
• Optimized availability and performance for the business customers
Optimized cost for the mainframe platform
• Stronger relationship between IT, business owners, and finance
• Improved alignment across all functions with the priorities of the organization

It may not require an MLC Cost Reduction Workshop to achieve better alignment. Simply bringing together procurement and technical staff to discuss their respective efforts and constraints, and share what they don’t understand about the other’s efforts could be a great first effort on the journey to optimized infrastructure and cost for an IT that is moving to embrace the digital business.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Jay Lipovich

Jay Lipovich

G. Jay Lipovich is a Principal Product Manager for mainframe systems management and cost optimization at BMC Software. He has many years’ experience in the design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure and data management. This includes design strategy and performance evaluation for a mainframe hardware vendor; infrastructure performance consulting for industry and US government agencies; and design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure management solutions. He has published numerous articles in trade journals defining approaches to infrastructure performance management and cost optimization. Mr. Lipovich is ITIL Foundation and CDE certified.