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If underserved, mainframe application performance issues can undermine fast, reliable end-user customer-facing technologies. Yet many mainframe teams rely too heavily on manual workload-management processes without automation and visibility to increase the quality, velocity and efficiency of their tasks.

Enabling mainframe code to run as efficiently as possible is also critical to controlling IBM monthly license charges (MLCs), how IBM charges for license and support costs. Most IBM mainframe customers are billed on the rolling four-hour average (R4HA) of the peak million service units (MSU) value of processing work for the month. A higher peak means a larger bill from IBM, so performance optimization is key to reducing costs.

3. Innovation Gap

The mainframe’s isolated culture curtails cross-team and cross-platform collaboration, ideation and innovation. This excludes one of the most critical application layers (the transaction itself, handled by the mainframe) from end-to-end DevOps efforts.

The slow, protracted processes mainframe teams have long relied upon guarantee mainframe code is released too slowly to support fast-moving technologies of engagement. Development teams can only move as fast as their slowest link.

Antiquated, esoteric, text-based mainframe tools limit visibility, automation, and integrations with modern tools organizations need to drive innovation from applications spanning mainframe and engagement technologies.

A Path Forward

There are several ways mainframe-industry leaders are improving the ability of mainframe organizations to overcome brain-drain, a lack of innovation and workload cost optimization. That’s occurring through new education initiatives, cost management, and a focus on modernizing culture, processes and tools.

Educating The Next Generation

To attract and retain new talent as well as help them take ownership of the mainframe as experts retire, leading organizations are fostering cultures of continuous learning that encourage mentorship, support internal academic initiatives and guide hands-on experience with major development projects (as opposed to relegating new hires to maintenance tasks). International programs like IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest are giving students the opportunity to experience working on the mainframe.

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