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Time to change your perception of Mainframe and learn how it connects to the cloud

Mainframe is not dead; it is still very much alive and kicking. Anette Ottar shares on how Mainframe Services are still critical to many industries.

Anette Ottar / February 24, 2022

I was talking to an old colleague about what I currently do, and I was confronted with this question: Why do you work with a legacy technology? Many people see Mainframe as old and antiquated technology that is no longer used. However, now it is time to set the record straight and explain that Mainframes still store about 70 percent of the total data in the world.

Why do several industries still rely on Mainframe?

Industries – like banking, insurance, retail and media – still heavily rely on Mainframe technology. Because it delivers the world’s best security and reliability with millisecond response times, enables hybrid cloud deployment and performance at any scale, it is still highly relevant in the technology stack. The world's top companies also rely on Mainframe to protect their data, run blockchain and machine learning applications, and enable digital experiences. It has proven its continued relevance in the cloud-native era, and this backbone of IT technology can also be taken into the digital era.

So why do we still think Mainframe belongs to the past?

Because of Mainframe’s traditional development approaches and tools, too often it is isolated from hybrid environments – left to run back-office applications and transactions. It is possible to connect Mainframe with the new technology in a hybrid cloud. Hybrid and multi-cloud provide consistency across multiple environments and recognize that each type of environment brings its own strengths to the table. We need to break down the silos and ensure the value chain across all operations, confirming our focus on efficiency and business outcomes. 

Value chain operation model – empowered by Hybrid Cloud!

It is critical to evolve from a siloed model to a hybrid IT operating model that helps bringing data, technology and teams together.

The result is greater collaboration and transparency – control, operational efficiency and increased focus on delivering business requirements.

  • Establishing a hybrid, agile automated DevOps approach
  • Accelerating development speed and improving quality – creating teams that think holistically and across different technology stacks
  • Creating a common language – changes the conversation from ‘updating middleware on the Mainframe’ to ‘updating all middleware’

Unifying teams starts with an open framework and common toolset that bring cloud-like experiences to the start of working with the Mainframe. This is possible with a technology foundation that makes it easy to access and automate Mainframe software lifecycle tasks using popular 3rd party and open-source tools such as Git, Visual Studio Code, Ansible, Service Now, and more. These tools allow programmatically writing scripts that automate Mainframe services. Using common toolsets fosters coordination and collaboration.

All of this is now more possible than ever before because of Zowe. Zowe, the first open-source project for z/OS, is becoming the standard for mainframe access. Zowe provides an interface to all the common mainframe services teams’ need for development, pipeline and operations automation. 

What is the future of Mainframe?

IBM z15™ is a new enterprise platform delivering the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. With z15, customers can manage who gets access to data via policy-based controls, with an industry-first capability to revoke access to data across the hybrid cloud.

  • Encryption Everywhere – Building upon pervasive encryption, z15 can also encrypt data everywhere – across hybrid multi-cloud environments – to help enterprises secure their data wherever it travels.
  • Cloud-Native Development – Can give customers a competitive advantage by evolving how they modernize apps in place, build new cloud-native apps and securely integrate their most important workloads across clouds.
  • Instant Recovery – An industry-first approach to limiting the cost and impact of planned and unplanned downtime, enabling users to access full system capacity for a period of time to accelerate shutdown and restart of Z services and provide a temporary capacity boost to rapidly recover from lost time.

Of course, having the latest version is not always the cure. There are huge changes happening in the ICT industry, and the speed of development is only going to get faster. Whether Mainframe can be replaced with something else, is to be considered. The choice is yours and we can help you to find out the best option for your business needs. 

Our focus is to help enable our customers to connect new and more traditional businesses efficiently, ensure our customer’s competitiveness and become digital winners regardless of their choice of technology.

Learn more about how Mainframe Services and our experts can help you boost your business!

Anette Ottar
Head of Secured Infrastructure Services

Anette has solid experience in managing and developing high performance teams, securing operational efficiency and operational growth. In her cyrrent role she is responsible for Mainframe, midrange and traditional platforms at TietoEVRY. Previously she has led enterprise sales within IT, telco, media and logistics. 

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