Based on a recent report by Forrester and Compuware, 90 percent of enterprises with mainframes have trouble delivering applications on time. In fact, 48 percent of respondents to their survey reported they have moved some applications off the mainframe only to encounter security problems as well as slower performance and project delays.

In addition, the report also found that 41 percent of respondents try to work around the mainframe. This leads to greater complexity, higher costs, duplicate tooling and increased security risks. And 40 percent attempt to modernize on the mainframe platform, but struggle with long transition times, Java performance issues and inadequate tools to help with application understanding.

According to an article by Nick Ismail in Information Age titled, The Mainframe is Hindering Application Delivery (you can read the entire article here), “Enterprises relying on the mainframe is a serious issue as the majority of new business initiatives involve the mainframe and by attempting to accelerate application delivery, some companies are exacerbating the situation.”

All is not lost, however. That same report found that companies are successfully addressing these challenges by applying proven DevOps best practices to their mainframe environments. While 40 percent have resulted in shorter development cycles and faster response to business needs.

“Organizations face both business and technical challenges on the mainframe, preventing them from innovating and transforming into a digital business. To avoid issues with the mainframe, organizations are working around it, replatforming, or modernizing. However, each of these tactics creates new issues. The good news is that those companies embracing DevOps deliver faster and at a higher quality, all while fostering collaboration,” said Compuware CEO, Chris O’Malley.

O’Malley went on to say, “Enterprises that mistakenly allow their mainframe environments to languish in outdated processes and archaic tools will suffer the consequences of being too slow—which includes customer defection and, a continual state of managed decline.”