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Modern Mainframe Management: Changing Processes with a New Workforce

2 minute read
Alan Warhurst

Phew, what a year!! With all that has gone on in the world and certainly within the world of BMC, it doesn’t feel like my feet have touched the floor this year. Now that one of the biggest pieces of work I am involved in has finished for this year, BMC’s Annual Mainframe survey, I finally managed to get a chance to just sit down and breathe! As I reflected on the year to date, I started to think about the things we discovered in this year’s survey and how they will affect me in my day job of being a product manager.

What stood out for me this year was the change in the experience profile respondents. The percentage of people with over 20 years’ worth of experienced halved! I’ll say that again, it HALVED. That is a massive change for just one year. We have been tracking the age and experience profile in the survey for a few years now, as having people to support the mainframe into the future has been a massive concern for executives around the world. In speaking with many of those customers, I have been cheered over in recent years that so many of them have been adopting training programs and rising to the challenge, but I have to say, this year’s survey really did leave me stunned.

It appears from the responses, now more than ever, customers are starting to live with that new workforce running their mainframe. In one way this is truly exciting. With all the data we have collected in the survey, the new workforce is highly positive on the mainframe and its future. This new wave of talent approaches it as a platform to integrate and see it as something to mainstream, not just be a big box hidden in the corner. In that sense, I think it can only cement the place of the mainframe at the core of autonomous digital enterprises around the world.

Looking at this through the eyes of a ZSO product manager though, it also means we must look again at the way our solutions evolve to meet your changing needs. Tools that worked for a highly experienced workforce do not always translate well to the challenges we now face. The need now is for evermore intelligent tooling, solutions that combine embedded industry expertise with the latest AI capabilities that are becoming the future of mainframe management, as they are on other platforms.

What do you think? How do you see the way you manage your mainframe evolving as the people and processes around it change?

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

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About the author

Alan Warhurst

Alan Warhurst has been in the IT industry for 20 years and at BMC since 2014. He is currently a Senior Manager Product Management in the ZSO organization responsible for the Storage Management products as well as future strategy and direction. He also has special responsibility for the Mainframe Executive Council and BMC's Annual Mainframe Survey.

Alan previously spent many years working in the logistics industry in a variety of roles, including System’s Programmer, Data Center Manager, Head of Application Platform Support and Infrastructure Architect.