Mainframe Blog

BMC Mainframe Survey Insights #1: Mainframe Growth is Good News, and Here’s Why

John McKenny
2 minute read
John McKenny


This is the first in a five-blog series that covers key insights from BMC’s 11th Annual Mainframe Survey of over 1,200 executives and IT professionals.

In this first edition of my mainframe survey results series, I’ll describe how the findings indicate that the z Systems mainframe platform is strong and garnering lots of attention lately. One reason for the renewed focus on the mainframe is the tectonic shift to digital business. As companies are transforming to digital enterprises, the need to improve and transform mainframe management naturally follows.

What we know is this: mainframes can efficiently support new workloads, and that’s a real advantage to those companies that run them, because digital business is driving more data and transactions, while generating more workload volatility than ever before. The BMC survey confirms these data points:

  • 58% indicate that mainframe transaction volumes have increased
  • 57% of respondents indicate that mainframe data volumes have increased
  • 46% indicate that mainframe workload volatility and unpredictability have increased

Companies are choosing the mainframe as the platform of choice to help process this new digital tidal wave: 89% say they perceive the mainframe to be a viable long-term platform well into the future. They cite its reliability, performance, and security features as the top reasons.

Interestingly, a deeper dive into the findings indicated that there are 3 distinct groups of respondent companies, each using a different approach to the platform:

  • Increasing Approach (58%) – These companies look to add workload to the mainframe, and see the advantages to leveraging the platform to its fullest capabilities.
  • Steady Approach (23%) – These companies view the platform as the best option for managing their most critical applications, but are not looking to add new work.
  • Reducing Approach (19%) – These companies look to move workloads to another platform as a perceived way to reduce costs, and generally see the platform as outdated.

As cited in a recent article in Enterprise Systems Journal, David Ramel notes that “Mainframe computers may seem like ancient relics from the past in today’s modern IT environment, but a new survey from BMC Software Inc. shows they’re faring quite well in the age of always-on digital business.”

Read more about the 11th Annual BMC Survey in the Results eBook.

Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what your company is experiencing with digital transformation. What types of mainframe applications are you enabling for digital?

Annual BMC Mainframe Survey

The 14th Annual BMC Mainframe Survey 2019 reports optimistic trends about the mainframe’s role in emerging and established businesses.
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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

John McKenny

John McKenny

As Vice President of Strategy for ZSolutions Optimization at BMC Software, John leads the Product Management and Solutions Marketing teams for mainframe solutions. Prior to joining BMC in 1995, he spent 15 years in various IT technical, management, and consulting roles in the transportation and insurance industries.