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Making Sense of Mainframe Priorities for 2017… and Beyond

Research tells us that managing z/OS environments in the next two years will be uniquely challenging for a variety of reasons — not all of which are cost-related. The long-stable paradigm for CIOs and VPs of IT groups at mainframe-equipped enterprises is changing, forcing a re-look at priorities.

Budgets for mainframe staff, hardware, software, and services remain relatively flat; but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Budgets for security- and compliance-related initiatives and some other projects are going up.

Top 2017 Priority: Connecting Big Iron to Big Data

Priorities for this year go beyond securing budget, as one EU banking IT leader points out, “Budget is not my top priority. Skills gap is Number One, along with trying to get all legacy system data plus new mainframe data plus distributed data to be combined and useful together is my ‘big data’ challenge.”

CEO, CRO and COO-related interest in any initiative that generates insights that could drive future revenue growth or competitive advantage has also increased — and would free up new budget dollars. Insights driven by Big Data via Splunk® continue to be funded.

Related: Big Data From Big Iron: How Your Mainframe Data Completes the Puzzle

Such initiatives for mainframe enterprises include streaming relevant SMF and other log data from the mainframe into Splunk, to be correlated and analyzed with like data from the distributed and Cloud infrastructures.

Correlating all security SMF and other logs across the enterprise in real time has also proven to be the right answer for compliance auditors who see this kind of SIEM (security information and event management) solution as the way to meet their requirements.

Download this free eBook to see how Big Iron has become critical to Big Data.

More Bang for Your Budget: Driving CPU Efficiency through Optimization

Of course, budget issues haven’t gone away for z/OS infrastructures, so these recent sentiments from an EMEA financial services IT exec may sound familiar: “Our region’s banking is seeing credit-card transactions rise 10%-15% per year, plus card processing fees are capped, so we’ve got new requirements, but not in service of new revenue.”

One IT services exec for a global enterprise adds, “The fast-growing instant payment and mobile workloads are an issue, and we’ve told IBM the costs are too high.”

Squeezing more work out of existing CPU usage levels using high-performance sort and state-of-the-art zIIP offload is an approach several global and regional banks and insurance companies have taken using Syncsort ZPSaver and MFX. It may be worth a few minutes to see how much you can save.

On the topic of savings, there are tools that can save you cycles and dollars with database optimization (for DB2  and CA IDMS) and even with network management. You may have options you didn’t know about!

Oh, and that impending “skills gap” issue. That isn’t going away on its own. So perhaps it’s time to join the others who finally found an efficient way to do that IMS-to-DB2 migration.

For more discussion around key mainframe optimization opportunities and use cases, spanning DB2 and network management on z/OS, as well as new ways to save on your monthly IBM MLC charges and new options for long-standing mainframe issues, watch the free webcast: Mainframe Optimization in 2017


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