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Cashing in on Mainframe’s Hidden Riches: Key 2018 Trends for Connecting Big Iron with Advanced Big Data Analytics

In the last blog, “Mainframes Continue to Reign in 2018: Key Trends that Support Big Iron’s Sovereign Rule,” I addressed the results of our recently completed annual survey of IT and data analytics professionals to identify trends, challenges and opportunities faced by enterprises investing in the mainframe going into 2018. I discussed two very important and related findings from the survey – that the mainframe remains strategic to businesses and cost control is a priority.  Another key finding was focused on the important role mainframe data plays in today’s advanced analytics. Let’s take a look at what we discovered.

Cashing in on Mainframe’s Hidden Riches Key 2018 Trends for Connecting Big Iron with Advanced Big Data Analytics Banner, Mainframe Data

The Mainframe’s Role as a Host for Revenue-Generating Services

As previously discussed, the IBM z/OS mainframe remains an important focus in many large organizations. The majority respondents to our survey reported that the mainframe serves as the main hub for business-critical applications by providing high-volume transaction and database processing. A related and extremely interesting finding – a high number of respondents indicated they’ll use the mainframe to run revenue-generating services over the next 12 months. This is not only another clear indication that the mainframe remains strategic to the business, but points to the high value of mainframe applications and data.

Integrating Mainframe Data with Enterprise-Wide Data for Next-Generation Analytics

Another key reason mainframe data is so important is the growing trend to enable enterprise-wide data views. 44% of survey respondents chose integrating mainframe data with modern analytics tools as a top organizational priority, and 23% said they already use Big Data tools (like Splunk and Hadoop) to monitor mainframe and other enterprise data together in a single dashboard. This trend to connect “Big Iron to Big Data” makes perfect sense – organizations need to access and integrate mainframe data with other enterprise-wide data sources to get a 360-degree view of data that drives better decision making, particularly in support of security and compliance initiatives.

Mainframe Data
This year’s survey asked what is most important for security on the mainframe. The answer? Unlocking and analyzing SMF data is the key!

Tracking Data Movement is a Priority

In fact, with the need so many diverse enterprise-wide data sources, mainframe organizations are more challenged than ever in the need to track and understand data movement for good data governance, including data quality and compliance. 53% of organizations said they lack full visibility into their data movement, compared with 61% last year. While the downward trend is encouraging, this remains an area of risk that must be addressed to ensure security and compliance initiatives are met.

Mainframe Data
This year’s survey revealed that more than half of organizations either, don’t have a clear view of what data is moved by whom, when and where

The takeaway is clear – the mainframe is a gold mine of critical data, and organizations increasingly want to make that data, along with other key enterprise data, available to next-generation analytics tools to extract its true value for key business initiatives, gain competitive advantage and yes, even generate additional revenue!

Want to learn more about the survey results?  Click here to download the full State of the 2018 State of the Mainframe report.

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