New Rocket Software Study Finds 80% of IT Professionals Say the Mainframe Remains Critical to Business Operation

29 March 2022
Survey findings show that despite the allure of new technologies, the mainframe still dominates IT infrastructure and is key to modernization
Press Release

WALTHAM, Mass. – March 22, 2022Rocket Software (Rocket), a global technology leader that develops enterprise software for some of the world’s largest companies, today released its 2022 Survey Report: The State of the Mainframe. Based on a survey of over 500 U.S. IT professionals in firms using mainframes focused on their priorities, challenges and plans for leveraging their mainframes going forward, the findings illustrate just how critical the mainframe continues to be for businesses today.

The survey findings reveal that despite the allure of new technologies that promise to deliver on digital transformation, the mainframe continues to dominate IT infrastructure. More than half (56%) of respondents say the mainframe still makes up the most of their IT infrastructure, followed by private cloud (20%) and distributed (15%). This illustrates the effectiveness and reliability of the mainframe and its ongoing role as a critical element in IT environments.

Modernizing the mainframe plays a critical role in helping businesses overcome some of their most pressing challenges, including protecting their investments in technology, closing the skills gap and integrating new technology for a unified IT environment. The survey reveals that modernizing in place—not ripping and replacing the mainframe—is the preferred method to update IT infrastructure. Respondents described their organizations’ current mainframe application and operations IT strategy as “modernizing in place” (56%), “operating as is” (27%) and “re-platforming” (17%).

  • Modernizing the mainframe can help close the skills gap. As companies continue to face skills gaps in their talent pool, modernizing systems is the most popular way respondents are working to maintain talent pipelines with 45% of respondents citing it as the top method. Forty three percent of respondents plan to offer mainframe-specific education to help address the skills gap.
  • Implementing DevOps functionalities presents a valuable opportunity to modernize the mainframe’s capabilities and performance. Forty four percent of respondents say their organization uses multiple tools for DevOps functionality on mainframe applications, but it is not a complete DevOps platform while 24% have a comprehensive platform for mainframe DevOps.
  • Integration of the mainframe with the cloud is key. Leveraging the diversity of solutions available from cloud to mainframe and optimizing each layer to operate together will create the most effective, unified environment. Eighty-two percent of respondents are migrating at least some of their workloads and operations from mainframe to cloud, however only 4% are going completely cloud native. This trend towards hybrid environments emphasizes the need for integration and optimization.

“During a time of great disruption, organizations need to leverage their years of technology investments alongside the latest tools available to drive business forward,” said Jeff Cherrington, Vice President, Product Management, System Z, Rocket Software. “As the findings of this report show, the mainframe continues to be reliable, secure and efficient. Modernizing the mainframe must be a top priority for IT leaders working to ensure their IT infrastructure is future-proof and to help close the skills gap many organizations are facing.”

For more details on the findings, download the Rocket Software 2022 Survey Report: The State of the Mainframe here.

About Rocket Software 

Rocket Software empowers organizations to create legendary impact in the world through innovation in legacy technologies. With deep expertise in IBM Z, IBM Power, and database and connectivity solutions, Rocket provides solutions that power tens of thousands of global businesses, solving real problems and making real-world impact. Rocket is a privately held U.S. corporation headquartered in the Boston area with centers of excellence strategically located throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Rocket is a portfolio company of Bain Capital Private Equity. 

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Press Contact: 
Jessica Hohn-Cabana 

[email protected]tware.com