Over its long history, the mainframe has consistently adapted to changes in technology, progressing from cards to 3270s to emulators on flatscreens to Eclipse and DevOps pipelines. This continuous innovation has picked up its pace, making this a great time to work on mainframe applications. As we open up the mainframe, organizations are benefitting from common tools used by developers on other platforms. That said, many organizations are still slow to adopt modern tooling across their mainframe DevOps toolchains. A Dimensional Research survey report commissioned by BMC shows that 60 percent of the companies surveyed are not using DevOps tools for continuous deployment, 61 percent are not using them for continuous integration, and 73 percent do not use DevOps version control tools.
One of the challenges preventing mainframe organizations from adopting DevOps toolsets is the lack of available integrations. At BMC, we continue to address this issue with new integrations that encourage automation and open the mainframe to other solutions in your DevOps toolchain. This support evolves with each quarterly release, including BMC Compuware ISPW features such as REST APIs, a Jenkins Operations Plugin, and the addition of VS Code support in April 2021.
As part of our July 2021 release, we are proud to announce BMC Compuware ISPW support for GitHub Actions, enabling the use of ISPW to compile, build, and deploy mainframe code stored in GitHub. This makes it easy to automate all of your software workflows, allowing GitHub to trigger a mainframe compile through ISPW. This action can be used in scenarios where your mainframe source is stored in GitHub, or when you want your GitHub Actions workflow to operate on source that is already stored in ISPW.
These features help simplify the process of building a mainframe-inclusive DevOps toolchain, an exercise which improves the quality, velocity, and efficiency of software development. The Dimensional Research survey also showed that companies turning to DevOps for the mainframe were able to deliver higher-quality applications with increased velocity. In fact, 71 percent indicated that implementing DevOps sped mainframe application releases by weeks, or even months.
Improving the developer experience
The benefits of DevOps adoption go beyond software output. As recent research shows, providing state-of-the-art tools and a modern developer experience helps companies stay competitive in the hiring and retention of talented developers.
In a Forrester survey commissioned by BMC, 64 percent of respondents say the satisfaction of their developers is critical to their ability to retain talent while 72 percent acknowledge that the mainframe development experience needs improvement. Creating a work environment in which developers use modern processes and tools to create high-quality innovations quickly and efficiently pays dividends not only in the finished product, but also in the enthusiasm, engagement, and loyalty of those developers.
Every situation is different, and each organization must adopt the processes and tools that best fit their team and help them achieve their goals. As we strive to modernize the mainframe and CI/CD pipelines with new features each quarter, BMC remains committed to your success, whatever your tool and path may be.