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2012 BMC Survey Spotlights Mainframe Growth And Pains

The mobility movement and other technology trends are putting more stress on the data center than ever before. Consumers and business users demand access to applications from anywhere at any time, which means IT infrastructures must reliably support the rapidly increasing velocity, volume and variety of data.

To get the job done, IT is continuing to turn to the mainframe for strategic advantage, according to BMC Software’s (NASDAQ: BMC) Annual Worldwide Survey of Mainframe Users.

IT experts throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific reported that the mainframe continues to be their platform of choice due to its superior availability, security, centralized data serving and performance capabilities. But they also cited some challenges associated with mainframe growth, including struggles to reduce IT costs, speed recovery and simplify the increasingly complex mainframe and hybrid data center environment.

“Direct insight from customers and other mainframe users continues to fuel the innovation behind BMC’s mainframe and hybrid data center solutions,” said Bill Miller, president of Mainframe Service Management at BMC. “These survey findings underscore the important role the mainframe will play in supporting evolving business needs and also highlight challenges we are committed to addressing.”

“In the banking world, you can’t overstate the importance of availability, performance and security when it comes to your IT infrastructure,” Glenn Bowden, Chief Engineer - Mainframe at Westpac. “With the help of BMC Software, we are able to cost-efficiently harness these inherent benefits of the mainframe so that we can continue to provide our clients with innovative solutions that generate a superior banking experience.”

Global survey findings include:

  • Ninety percent of respondents consider mainframe to be a long-term solution, and 50 percent agreed it will attract new workloads. Asia-Pacific respondents reported the strongest outlook, as 57 percent expect to rely on the mainframe for new workloads.
  • Keeping IT costs down remains the top priority, as 69 percent of respondents identified this as their major focus area, up from 60 percent from 2011.
  • Fifty-nine percent expect MIPS capacity to grow as they modernize and add applications to address business needs. This highlights the need for software that minimizes expensive MIPS consumption and exploits the mainframe’s cost-efficient specialty engines.
  • Concerns about the shortage of skilled mainframe staff plagues at least 75 percent of respondents, highlighting the need for more automated, self-learning software. While many organizations worry about mainframe staffing shortages because experts in the field are retiring, IT should be aware that better recruitment, training and outsourcing will not solve the problem alone.
  • More than 55 percent reported they need to integrate the mainframe into enterprise IT systems comprised of multiple mainframe and distributed platforms. This further highlights the growing complexity of the hybrid data center and the need for simple, cross-platform solutions.
  • While availability is a top benefit of the mainframe, 39 percent reported an unplanned outage, calling for advanced, accurate alerts to problems and fast recovery capabilities.

John Barnard, BMC’s chief technology officer for Mainframe Service Management, said: “With five recent patents awarded and several significant solution releases and upgrades launched this year, we’re delivering smarter, more efficient software that ensures our customers get the most from their mainframe well into the future.”

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