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Are Mainframe Problems Being Ignored?

How well prepared for mainframe skills leaving your IT department? If you’re like the enterprises sampled in a new Compuware survey, the answer is -- probably not well.

Compuware’s study of 520 chief information officers in the U.S., Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, focused on “how enterprise organizations are addressing the impact of retiring mainframe developer teams.” Nearly half (46 percent) of CIOs “admit to having no plans in place to address mainframe developer shortages.” (The figure was 60 percent for CIOs in the UK and just 23 percent for Australian CIOs.)

Filling positions from a pool of college graduates doesn’t look promising, either. Nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) of survey participants “believe that a lack of change in the mainframe environment is turning IT graduates off from mainframe development.”

“Businesses are supporting new technologies like mobility and cloud computing at record pace, forcing mainframe teams to contend with the added workload of quickly and successfully integrating new applications with legacy mainframe applications,” said Kris Manery, senior vice president and general manager, mainframe solutions business unit at Compuware said in a statement.

“This rise in mainframe development coupled with a lack of new developers -- a trend we call the ‘New Normal of Mainframe’ -- puts teams at risk of becoming less effective in supporting the applications that are critical to today’s world economy.”

More than half (56 percent) claim that “mainframe developers -- continually challenged to do more with less in a rapidly evolving IT environment -- are struggling to meet the changing needs of the business.” Part of that may be due to the staid nature of the mainframe. After all, it’s not where all the sexy new technologies can be found.

In addition, employers aren’t doing much to modernize mainframe environments. Why? According to the survey, it’s due to “high acquisition costs (60 percent), complex integration (54 percent), and high training and implementation costs (45 percent).

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 03/02/2012

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