The Mainframe Survey Tells Us About Who We Are

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The results from this year’s BMC annual mainframe survey are available, and they reveal some very interesting insights about our community and attitudes toward the platform.

First, it’s obvious that the mainframe continues to grow – hosting more data, transactions, and databases again this year. And 91% of the respondents said that the mainframe is a long-term platform for their business, up from 89% last year. It makes sense, because no other platform can provide the backbone for high-transaction environments quite like the mainframe. So, we know the mainframe is here to stay – especially as the digital economy continues to expand.

But the most interesting insights are in the new demographics data — who we are as a mainframe community. The myth has always been that “mainframers” are mostly older, while younger generations have scrambled to avoid working on the platform. This year’s survey breaks that myth. In fact, over half of the respondents are under age 50, with the bulk of the community being in the 30 to 49 age group.

A particularly interesting group was identified – respondents who are age 30 to 49 and have 1 to 10 years of experience. The survey shows them to be:

  • More likely to be holding executive roles (45% vs. 24% for their older, more experienced peers)
  • More positive than the overall sample about growing workloads on their mainframes

Here’s the big surprise! Younger respondents are extremely positive about the mainframe. 70% of the millennials under age 30 who have less than 10 years of experience predict growth on their mainframe. This is a very positive sign for the future of the platform.

In future years, BMC should be able to trend this data to see how the workforce is changing. I’m hypothesizing that the myth about the typical mainframe worker is being busted over time as the workforce is changing and becoming more balanced. I read this to mean that more opportunities are opening for younger workers and that more women are joining mainframe teams. This is great news.

Be sure to read all of the results in the 2017 BMC Annual Research Report, and register for the webinar to hear more.

Related posts:

12th Annual Mainframe Survey Results


The BMC annual mainframe survey is a key indicator of the future health and viability of the mainframe—and this year’s report busts 5 common myths about the platform.

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

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Tom Vogel

Tom Vogel

Tom Vogel has enjoyed 25 years in the software industry, in various technical, marketing, and business development roles. At IBM Corporation, Tom managed product launches for various database products on all platforms. Previously, Tom managed the marketing and communications for a host of middleware software packages, such as OpenTV interactive TV software. At Automation Anywhere in San Jose, Tom was the Director of the ERP Business, managing Business Development and Marketing for the company's rapidly growing ERP process automation and testing automation solutions. Tom is experienced in building customer and partner relationships, and has an MBA from Santa Clara University. Today, Tom is the Lead Solutions Marketing Manager for innovative mainframe cost optimization and data management offerings at BMC Software.