In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, what role does the mainframe play?

Jeff Cherrington

October 4, 2022

According to a recent Rocket Software survey, 80% of IT professionals categorize the mainframe as critical to their business, a staggering number in the face of an increasingly cloud-first world. The mainframe industry is at a pivotal moment – while 67% of Fortune 100 companies still rely on the mainframe, the way business is conducted, and data is managed is shifting. To succeed in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving environment, organizations must look for ways to marry their mission-critical IT with cloud capabilities to drive optimized business operations.

Digitally transforming the mainframe

As with any digital transformation project, mainframe modernization is a continuous process – one that comes with significant benefits. Mainframe modernization enables more seamless remote work, improves the user experience and results in higher quality outcomes by creating more efficient processes that improve productivity while lowering costs.

With today’s breakneck speed of business, efficiency is key to competitiveness. As organizations embark on a mainframe modernization journey, they must be sure all activity is oriented toward helping employees be more efficient and productive. Process discovery – which enables organizations to have complete visibility across existing workflows (including exceptions) – is central to achieving this goal, allowing project leaders to make smart decisions about where to focus modernization activity to reap their benefits as quickly and fully as possible.

Marrying mainframe with the cloud

As organizations continue to digitally transform their operations to ensure success in a shifting business landscape, it’s critical that they have a roadmap in place to marry the mainframe with newer technology. When it comes to reliability, availability, serviceability, efficiency and security, the mainframe is unparalleled. But the cloud offers many benefits to organizations when integrated with mainframe data stores.

As challenges like balancing IT costs with deploying workloads where they are best executed, cloud migration will be a key element of any mainframe modernization strategy. According to our survey, 82% of IT professionals are migrating at least some of their workloads and operations from mainframe to cloud. This hybrid approach to modernization enables IT leaders to leverage the diversity of solutions available from cloud to mainframe and optimize each stack to work together friction-free, creating the most effective, unified environment that works for stakeholders across the company.

Closing the skills gap with modernization

As mainframe experts exit the workforce, companies reliant on mainframe infrastructure are experiencing a skills gap that creates significant challenges for the business, especially as the new generation of IT professionals flock to work on cloud-based technologies. But while the mainframe is commonly (but incorrectly) viewed as outdated, workloads across industries are increasing, creating exciting opportunities for innovation and optimization – but only if prospective employees know about them.

The onus is on enterprises to identify the right messaging and strategies to dispel the myths about the mainframe throughout their recruiting processes, highlighting the many opportunities available on the mainframe and mission-critical work that must be done to ensure daily operations continue. One of the best ways to highlight this is by showcasing the breadth of technologies people interact with every day that are run on mainframes. Trillions of transactions are made possible daily thanks to the mainframe. Mainframes keep planes in the air, trains running on time, financial transactions moving along seamlessly and insurance and hospital systems secure.

To learn more about mainframe modernization, check out our suite of solutions. To learn more about working with Rocket Software, visit our careers page.