The Growing Use of Mainframes Presents New Challenges

New Mainframe Set UpThe growing use of mainframes proves that industry experts are not always right. In fact, rather than the slow demise that many industry experts predicted, a recent Forrester Consulting study shows that mainframe usage is still on the rise.

According to the study, 64 percent of large organizations such as financial institutions and government agencies will run over half of their business-critical workloads on mainframes in 2019. That’s up from 56 percent in 2018.

The simple question is why?  And the simple answer is that no other platform matches the security, scalability, availability, and reliability of big iron.

What are the challenges?

Of course, mainframe use also presents a unique set of challenges that include the following:

  • Staffing: During the past 5 years, organizations powered by mainframes have lost 23 percent of their workforce. Since only one out of every 3 experts has been replaced, that’s a daunting rate of attrition. This challenge is even bigger than it appears since the new workers don’t have the depth and breadth of knowledge about mainframe technology that’s needed to take full advantage of this powerful platform.
  • Performance: Close to three quarters (72 percent) of all customer-facing applications are supported by mainframe applications and data. Performance issues can negatively impact the speed and reliability of these applications. The key issue is that a majority of mainframe teams rely on outmoded manual workload management processes instead of using automation to enhance speed, quality, and efficiency.
  • Lack of innovation: Mainframe teams are often far too insular, which discourages the kind of cross-platform and cross-team collaboration that leads to new ideas and approaches. In addition, the slow traditional processes of mainframe code development mean less creativity and integration with the modern tools that help drive innovation.

Finding the future

So how do we resolve these challenges?  The most obvious answer is education. New generations of mainframe experts must be trained to take full advantage of this powerful platform. Fostering an environment of continuous training means that organizations can nurture talent from within. At the same time, programs like the IBM Master the Mainframe Contest give students around the world the chance to work with – and ultimately help enhance – mainframe technology.

The fresh ideas and next-gen perspectives provided by new developers will lead to enhanced collaboration, greater innovation, more automation, and improved processes.  And that, in turn, will lead to the continued growth and vitality of big iron.

Meeting the challenges

At New Iron Solutions, we understand the changing world of mainframes. We can help you meet your staffing challenges before they impact your business. Contact us online today or call 1-844-388-IRON (4766).