Mainframes remain mainstream in the digital business environment


A new survey of over 1,000 IT executives and practitioners shows that 90 percent of respondents see the mainframe as a platform for growth and long-term applications.

The annual mainframe survey from IT solutions company BMC also shows that more than half of survey respondents increased mainframe platform data and transaction volume by 25 percent or more, signaling its ongoing importance in the digital business environment.

Mainframe modernization continues to play a key role in priorities among respondents with the need to implement AI and machine learning strategies jumping by eight percent year on year.


63 percent of respondents say security and compliance are their top mainframe priorities. While the mainframe has a reputation of being a naturally secure platform, respondents are seeing the growing need to fortify its 'walls'. Indeed security beat cost optimization as the leading mainframe priority among respondents for the first time in the 15-year history of the BMC survey.

"Early results were shared with leading industry analysts and key customers from our Mainframe Executive Council in order to validate findings with market sentiment," says John McKenny, SVP of mainframe innovation and strategy at BMC. "These conversations further solidified the study’s findings that the platform’s positive outlook and growth is largely due to the need to create intuitive, customer-centric digital experiences. The mainframe continues to shine as innovative, agile, and secure and is a vital component to digital success."

The survey reveals some demographic shifts in mainframe operations too, as younger, less experienced staff replace departing senior employees. There has also been a higher proportion of women respondents than last year.

"The IBM Z ecosystem continues to evolve to support a modern, hybrid cloud. But it's more than that, because the practitioners who run IBM Z are shifting as well to represent the modern workforce -- with 40 percent representation from women and over one-third representation from those with less than five years experience on the Z platform," says Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Z and LinuxONE.

The full survey is available from the BMC site and you can register for a webinar to discuss the findings to be held on October 6.

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