Mainframe Blog

To Transform Your Mainframe, Transform Your Mainframe Sourcing

Paul Vallely
John McKenny
3 minute read
Paul Vallely, John McKenny

If your business runs its core systems of record on a mainframe, you must transform your mainframe environment.

After all, your businesses can’t truly be agile unless you can update your mainframe systems of record with the same speed and frequency as you update your web and mobile systems of engagement. And you must make it much easier for your new generation of IT pros to execute best-practice mainframe DevOps—especially as you lose your most senior mainframe specialists through attrition.

But how do you get from today’s slow-moving, expertise-dependent mainframe ownership model to much more agile and automated DevOps? How can you confidently and cost-effectively change something you’ve done the same way for decades? And where exactly do you get started?

The answer, it turns out, has a lot to do with how you source your mainframe tools.

Great platform, bad tools

Let’s be clear. As a platform for systems-of-record application workloads, your mainframe can’t be beat. Its security, reliability, performance, scalability and economics are unmatched. And the investments you’ve made in mainframe application code are irreplaceable. So the mainframe will remain a fixture in your enterprise for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, two of the largest mainframe vendors haven’t done much to help you keep your mainframe toolkit fresh.

One reason for this is that entrenched incumbents generally become complacent. They have little incentive to disrupt their own markets—and often defend their installed base through bundling and renewal incentives.

Another issue that’s specific to the two primary mainframe incumbents—namely CA, and to some degree IBM —is that they’ve used the mainframe as a “cash cow” to fund their forays into emerging markets. CA has invested very little of their mainframe-generated profits back into mainframe R&D. IBM continues to invest in mainframe hardware and systems software such as CICS and DB2, but their offerings to help mainframe developers, sysprogs, DBAs and operations specialists have languished.

The problems companies like yours are having with the mainframe are therefore intimately linked to the shortcomings of the vendors from which you’ve been sourcing your mainframe tools.

The urgent alternative: A competitive, innovative ecosystem

Here’s more evidence that your mainframe sourcing is preventing your mainframe DevOps from keeping pace with your non-mainframe DevOps.

First, there is nothing inherently non-Agile or non-intuitive about the mainframe. Like the cloud, the mainframe is simply a complex configuration of compute, storage, network, OS and software components. In fact, the mainframe is far more cloud-like than distributed computing originally was. So your mainframe challenges can’t be intrinsic to the platform itself. They’re the result of non-intuitive, waterfall-bound SCM and operational tools.

Second, the non-mainframe market looks nothing like the mainframe duopoly. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Dell EMC and countless others actively compete for your cloud business. This competition drives intense innovation that is literally changing the world.

So your problem is not the mainframe. It’s the fact that you source your mainframe tools from underperforming, account-controlling incumbents—rather than pioneering, best-in-breed competitors wholly committed to helping you better leverage and advance your mainframe assets.

And that’s why you should source your mainframe tools from Compuware and BMC.

BMC and Compuware offer you best-of-breed solutions that empower you to build a mainframe DevOps toolchain as agile and automated as anything on your other platforms. We’re delivering tools with the ease-of-use that is essential to mainframe empowering the next generation of DevOps professionals. And we’re partnering with best-of-breed vendors across platforms to promote the choice, innovation and integration that will make the mainframe a first-class citizen in the new world of Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery.

Stay tuned

We’ll blog more about the differentiated capabilities our tools provide in specific disciplines such as application delivery, performance management, security and cost control. But first, we wanted to make it clear why it’s important for all mainframe owners to re-think their sourcing.

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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

Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely manages Compuware’s business development initiatives, including go-to-market partnerships, value-add integrations and acquisitions. After a five-year foundation as a developer, Paul has nearly 25 years of experience working with mainframe customers in various roles across Compuware’s solution portfolio.

About the author

John McKenny

John McKenny

As Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for ZSolutions at BMC Software, John leads the Product Management and Solutions Marketing teams to innovate the mainframe to meet the needs of today’s evolving digital economy. John has over 24yrs of management experience at BMC alone and, prior to joining, he led various IT management teams and strategies for 15 years in the transportation and insurance industries.