Mainframe application delivery slows speed to market

Enterprises relying on the mainframe struggle to deliver application improvements, at the speed of today’s digital business, run the risk of not meeting customer experience and product expectations.

Applying DevOps best practices

Although, a recent study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Compuware Corporation, states that fortunately, enterprises can successfully address these challenges by applying proven DevOps best practices to their mainframe environments.

Challenges with mainframe application delivery

The survey of global IT, I&O, and application development professionals showed 90% reporting challenges with mainframe application development and delivery, resulting in long release cycles for customer-facing apps, downscaling of product features to meet deadlines, and expensive workarounds using other technologies.

90% of respondents also reported that their mainframe application development is hampered by organisational bureaucracy, internal silos that create bottlenecks, quality issues and insufficient funding.

The impact of these challenges is widespread, because the vast majority of new business initiatives involve the mainframe. A full 57% said those initiatives always involve the mainframe, while another 39% said the mainframe is involved with at least some new initiatives.

“Enterprises that mistakenly allow their mainframe environments to languish in outdated processes and archaic tools will suffer the consequences of being too slow—which includes customer defection and, a continual state of managed decline,” said Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley. “That’s why smart enterprise CEO are investing in mainframe modernisation that transforms their systems of record from inhibitors of digital success to catalysts of competitive advantage.”

Continuous application delivery

Organisations employ a variety of tactics to solve these challenges. However, many of these tactics fall short or create their own impediments to fast, continuous application delivery. For example:

  • 48% move some applications off the mainframe, but find that results in security issues, higher costs, degraded performance and project delays.
  • 41% attempt to work around the mainframe. This leads to greater complexity, higher costs, duplicate tooling and increased security risks.
  • 40% attempt to modernise on the mainframe platform, but struggle with long transition times, Java performance issues and inadequate tools to help with application understanding.

DevOps best practices as a solution

The survey also revealed that enterprises are successfully addressing these challenges by applying proven DevOps best practices to their mainframe environments.

More than 40% of respondents claimed that such practices have resulted in shorter development cycles and faster response to business needs. In addition, 35% are achieving improved customer experience and 34% are realising cost savings by embracing innovations in mainframe DevOps.


Edited from press release by Jordan Platt.