Security and High Availability are Top Mainframe Influences, BMC Survey Says

Mainframe SecurityBy Dan O'Brien

As the world demands ever safer and faster performance from IT organizations, it’s no surprise that security and high availability are the top two factors influencing mainframe growth this year, according enterprise IT professionals who responded to the 2015 BMC Mainframe Survey.

In the survey’s 10th year, BMC questioned more than 1,200 IT leaders worldwide from across a comprehensive range of industries.

In perhaps the most optimistic result from the survey, 90 percent of respondents predicted that the mainframe will continue to be destined for long-term success. Fifty-six percent cited security as the top reason they continue to invest in the mainframe, with availability coming in at 55 percent. Data server and transactional through-put capabilities rounded out the top four.

All of this reinforces the mainframe’s reputation as the most powerful platform for processing financial transactions in the world, a role that will become even more valuable as organizations navigate the explosion in e-commerce and mobile payments.

Unsurprisingly, 65 percent of respondents identified IT cost optimization as their top mainframe priority followed by application availability at 59 percent. As BMC pointed out in its blog post about the survey results, this translates as having to “‘keep the lights on’ effectively and efficiently to have the resources available to create funding for producing new applications or those needed for ensuring 24×7 availability.” It’s the eternal balance of pursuing innovation while running an effective core business. As for how organizations plan to achieve cost optimization, 22 percent of overall respondents said they would achieve that through reducing resource usage during peak processing. (It’s worth noting, though, that small shops said their top priority for reducing costs is migrating some workloads off the mainframe.)

Along those lines, 20 percent of respondents said that elimination of planned outages would improve their application availability more than anything else. Thanks to business needs and customer demands, organizations just can’t afford downtime anymore. Just one hour of application failure can cost a Fortune 1000 company between $500,000 and $1 million, according to a recent IDC report. There’s also no “good” time for an outage, when you have customers trying to make transactions at all hours of the day from their mobile devices. It’s convenient for them but can be a big headache for organizations that can’t deliver.

"The IBM z13™ can process up to 2.5 billion transactions per day -- that's the equivalent of 100 Cyber Mondays. Facing this boom in data and transaction growth, digital businesses are looking to transform their IT infrastructures to handle the load with maximum security, availability, and performance,” Mark Anzani, IBM’s vice president for z Systems Strategy, Resilience, and Ecosystems, said in a statement. “BMC’s annual report confirms IBM z Systems® clients are leveraging the platform as a centerpiece of their digital transformation.”

SHARE continues to be a critical force and key influencer in the industry as it advocates for member companies through every new development and challenge they face. Check SHARE’s website often for new educational and networking opportunities to keep member representatives ahead of the curve with each new step in the mainframe’s evolution.

How do BMC’s results line up with your organization’s mainframe usage and priorities? Does anything surprise you? Tell us in the comments.

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