How to Transform the Mainframe UX for Effective Cross-Platform DevOps
November 08, 2017

Jean Louis Vignaud
CA Technologies

Mainframes may be legacy, but they still run a lot of business. In fact, they store 80 percent of the world's transactional data, are run at 92 of the top 100 banks and 23 of the 25 largest airlines (Spark and machine learning on z Systems by Barry Baker @ IBM). It's estimated that there are 1.3 million CICS transactions processed per second and 220 billion lines of code in COBOL.

With so much in play, businesses run a great risk when practices for maintaining and developing on mainframe remain largely the same despite the rest of the organization undergoing significant change to keep pace with the latest DevOps trends. When developers versed in COBOL and Java, Database Administrators versed in DB2, and System Programmers versed in Mainframe are then found integrated into cross-platform hybrid teams, a divide in culture and best practices emerges, greatly inhibiting the collaboration needed to sustain that competitive level of business agility. In fact, customers will no longer tolerate this perceived lack of responsiveness that stems from small changes on mainframe still taking 4-8 weeks to complete for most organizations.

No Silos, No Problem!

To make matters worse, many of the customers I've spoken with are undergoing a disruptive generational shift in their workforce. In fact, we expect almost a fifth of their current mainframers to retire within the next five years. As these experts retire and cede their responsibility over mission-essential applications, businesses are left with the challenge of onboarding the next generation of Digital Transformation heroes so that they may leverage the inherent advantages of mainframe towards cutting-edge technology like blockchain, artificial intelligence and hyperscale cloud.

Returning to a competitive level of business agility requires a persistent focus on breaking down silos and redefining how mainframe is experienced by business professionals as they bring application changes to market. To succeed in this endeavor, businesses must:

Empower with choice – onboard your new-to-mainframe workforce and help them quickly hit their peak performance by enabling them to interface legacy applications with proven, industry-standard tooling that show strong community support.

Automate to orchestrate – build traceability and automated feedback into every stage of your lifecycle development so that your teams have full visibility into orchestrating pipeline activities across platforms for effective multi-modal development, test and delivery.

Optimize for growth – self-fund innovation initiatives by pruning avoidable costs. From leveraging intelligent automation for more efficient SLA management to reducing vendor complexity for a more manageable DevSecOps toolchain, the opportunities are everywhere!

Ultimately, businesses who differentiate themselves through Digital Transformation achieve greater business agility and innovation velocity by mitigating strategic risks, amplifying performance of teams in development, test, operations and security, and managing intelligently against increasing cost pressures.

Transform the Mainframe Experience

When done right, Mainframe becomes an enabler rather than a bottleneck for innovation. Engaging the platform becomes a wholly different experience; easy-to-use and scalable in a manner much like Amazon Web Services. Most critically, customers achieve business agility by:

1. "Consuming" mainframe products as mainframe services, thus realizing a service model that better aligns costs to value realized.

2. Enabling teams to access mission-essential mainframe assets through industry-standard, open-source tooling like Git, Jenkins, Gradle and more.

Jean Louis Vignaud is VP Product Management in CA Technologies MainFrame BU
Share this

Industry News

May 25, 2022

JFrog introduced Project Pyrsia, an open-source software community initiative that utilizes blockchain technology to secure software packages (A.K.A Binaries) from vulnerabilities and malicious code.

May 25, 2022

Kasm Technologies, in partnership with Docker, has developed Kasm Workspaces as a Containerized Desktop Infrastructure platform for streaming remote workspaces directly to your web browser.

May 25, 2022

Cascadeo announced the integration of Amazon DevOps Guru with cascadeo.io, Cascadeo’s cloud monitoring and management platform that provides users with a single view of multi-cloud or hybrid infrastructure environments.

May 24, 2022

Oracle announced the availability of Java 18, the latest version of the programming language and development platform.

May 24, 2022

Docker announced the acquisition of Tilt, makers of a development environment as code for teams on Kubernetes.

May 24, 2022

F5 announced the release of F5 NGINX for Microsoft Azure, an Azure-native service offering developed in partnership with Microsoft, that helps customers deliver modern applications on Azure with just a few clicks.

May 24, 2022

Pegasystems announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud that will help enable joint clients to accelerate their digital transformations with Pega’s low-code enterprise software on Google Cloud’s highly scalable cloud services.

May 23, 2022

Sauce Labs announced the release of contract testing with mocking on the Sauce Labs API Testing Platform.

May 23, 2022

Pure Storage announced a series of updates to its Portworx portfolio.

May 23, 2022

StackHawk has secured $20.7 million in capital.

May 19, 2022

Jellyfish announced the launch of Jellyfish Benchmarks, a way to add context around engineering metrics and performance by introducing a method for comparison.

May 19, 2022

Solo.io announced the addition and integration of Cilium networking into its Gloo Mesh platform, providing a complete application-networking solution for companies’ cloud-native digital transformation efforts.

May 19, 2022

Aqua Security announced multiple updates to Aqua Trivy, making it a unified scanner for cloud native security.

May 18, 2022

Red Hat unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools designed to help organizations build and deliver applications faster and more consistently across Kubernetes-based hybrid and multicloud environments.

May 18, 2022

Armory announced public early access to their new Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service product.