BMC's 2020 Mainframe Survey Reveals New Strategic Priorities

BMC has announced the results of its 15th Annual Mainframe Survey. The findings reveal strong support for mainstreaming the mainframe, new strategic priorities, and a resurgence of next-generation mainframe talent.

The survey drew responses from more than 1,000 executives and practitioners on their priorities, challenges, and growth opportunities for the platform.

Insights from the survey results include the following:

  • 90% of respondents see the mainframe as a platform for growth and long-term applications.
  • 78% of respondents want to be able to update mainframe applications more frequently than currently possible.
  • 68% expect MIPS, the mainframe's measure of computing performance, to grow.
  • 63% of respondents say security and compliance were their top mainframe priorities.
  • More than half of respondents (54%) reported an increase in transaction volume and 47% reported an increase in data volumes.

According to BMC, mainframe modernization continues to play a key role in priorities among respondents with the need to implement AI and machine learning strategies increasing by 8% year over year.  And while the mainframe has a reputation for being a naturally secure platform, respondents are seeing the growing need to fortify its "walls."  Security trumped cost optimization as the leading mainframe priority among respondents for the first time in the 15-year history of the survey.

"Early results were shared with leading industry analysts and key customers from our Mainframe Executive Council in order to validate findings with market sentiment," states John McKenny, senior vice president of mainframe innovation and strategy at BMC. "These conversations further solidified the study's findings that the platform's positive outlook and growth is largely due to the need to create intuitive, customer-centric digital experiences. The mainframe continues to shine as innovative, agile, and secure and is a vital component to digital success."

"The IBM Z ecosystem continues to evolve to support a modern, hybrid cloud. But it's more than that, because the practitioners who run IBM Z are shifting as well to represent the modern workforce—with 40% representation from women and over one-third representation from those with less than 5 years experience on the Z platform," said Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM Z and LinuxONE.

For survey results, download the full 2020 Mainframe Survey report at