The Modern Mainframe podcast recently sat down with John McKenny, BMC Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation, and April Hickel, Vice President of Intelligent Z Strategy, for a three-part discussion on mainframe DevOps, based on what John and April are seeing in their interactions with BMC customers. The conversation covered topics ranging from where companies are on their mainframe DevOps journeys, the tools they’re using, the benefits and challenges involved, and what’s coming in the future.
One thread that carried throughout the conversation was the idea that mainframe DevOps is not being handled as a platform-specific activity; organizations are including the mainframe in their overall enterprise DevOps efforts. Part of this approach is the realization that, as the demand for more digital services and faster innovation grows, organizations can only be as fast as the slowest link in their software development chain. As an increasing number of multi-platform applications are developed and the mainframe is depended upon for its ability to quickly and efficiently process high volumes of transactions, the platform must be an equal participant in enterprise DevOps.
The success organizations have seen in adoption of DevOps on other platforms and the availability of modern tools that support the mainframe help drive this mentality. April points out that priorities have shifted, with DevOps now including all components of an application. She says, “I’m hearing more and more executives say, ‘We want to use the same DevOps pipelines. We want to share the approach. We’re managing our applications more holistically than ever as we strive to deliver customer service, so we’ve stopped thinking about [the] platform where the application workload is hosted as the decision of…what is developed in a modern way and what isn’t, and we’ve started to think about the priority of the application.'”
Still, some organizations are hesitant to implement the new tooling and processes required to integrate the mainframe with their DevOps toolchains. John recommends that IT leaders who are still unsure of the benefits first look at the success stories of organizations that rapidly reaped the benefits of DevOps deployment and then consider what their own organizations can achieve with the capabilities afforded by a mainframe-inclusive DevOps toolchain. Overall, he says, the decision comes down to leadership teams’ recognition of those benefits and the belief that they can implement DevOps in their own organizations.
“Believe. It can be done,” he says. “There are ways to overcome and get around any obstacle that you may face, and there are plenty of support systems out there to help you, within your own organization, in the communities around DevOps, and with vendors like BMC—we’d love to help you.”
Listen to the entire “Mainframe DevOps Transformation” conversation on The Modern Mainframe podcast: