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New Survey Confirms Mainframe’s Strengths, Popularity

BMC’s yearly mainframe survey takes a look at the growth and pain points for IT professionals working with the hardware.

Three key issues stand out in Mainframe is Poised to Fuel the Future of Business:

  • The mainframe "continues to be a critical business tool." Translation: the mainframe isn’t dead. Advantages cited remained pretty much the same since last year’s study: high availability, security strengths, throughput, and superior centralized data servers are key to its popularity and explains why "90 percent of global respondents view mainframes as a long-term business solution."

  • Over the last year, IT’s top priorities haven’t changed much -- they’re still reducing IT costs, disaster recovery, and application modernization, in that order. What’s new is that business/IT alignment has moved from seventh place to fourth since last year’s survey.

  • When asked about areas of growth, MIPS, specialty engine adoption, and combating outages topped the list. For example, 15 percent of those surveyed believe MIPS have grown more than 10 percent in the last year; 44 percent put that figure at between one and 10 percent. Of these two groups, 31 percent attribute the growth to legacy and new applications, 19 percent say it’s due to legacy applications alone, and 9 percent say it’s due to new apps.

BMC’s survey veered into other areas, too. For example, the survey asked about respondents’ "specific priorities and objectives for application modernization." Almost half (46 percent) say they want to extend legacy code in applications using SOA or Web services with little re-architecting, and 50 percent want to "increase flexibility and agility of core apps." Coming in third, at 39 percent, is the desire to "reduce the cost of legacy application support."

Of course, the mainframe isn’t perfect: 39 percent of those surveyed said they had one or more unplanned production mainframe outages in the last year. Hardware failure accounted for 31 percent of those outages, followed by system software failure (30 percent), in-house application failure (28 percent), and a failed change process (22 percent).

The full report of the survey of 1,264 respondents in the Americas, EMDA, and Asia-Pacific regions is available here; registration is required.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 09/24/2012 at 11:53 AM