CA Technologies Leverages Mainframe for New "Ambidextrous Workforce"

At the recent CA World conference, CA Technologies announced what it calls its Next-Generation Mainframe Management strategy, intended to leverage mainframe computing power to help businesses compete in a more competitive economy.

The new strategy expands on CA's Mainframe 2.0 initiative, which the vendor launched a few years ago to align its mainframe product line. Mainframe 2.0, however, reflected a view of the mainframe in a traditional silo, Mark Combs, distinguished senior vice president for CA Technologies Mainframe business, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Enterprise IT environments are changing, and the new Next-Generation Mainframe Management theme is oriented more toward CIOs' current core pain points - the business demand for agility at lower risk and lower cost. Priorities to address these pain points include reducing cost, sustaining critical skills, and "re-skilling" the workforce to manage complex environments,  Combs says. 

With the new strategy, Combs explains, CA is now centering on the role of the mainframe as an integral part of IT. "We are seeing that people are being called upon to manage outside their comfort zone," he says. As a result, he notes, CA has coined the term "ambidextrous workforce" for employees who have come into the "distributed" workforce, but as time has gone on, are being asked to reach across and manage an expanded environment - which now includes mainframes. In addition, enterprises face the question of "how do you leverage your mainframe for this emerging cloud paradigm that is showing up?"

With the Next-Generation Mainframe Management strategy, CA Technologies plans to deliver solutions that embrace the IBM zEnterprise hybrid architecture - which Combs observes, brings a cross-platform, cross-enterprise management theme with the values and features of the mainframe inside it. CA also intends to beef up support of cloud computing on the mainframe, as well as extend management to support multi-vendor environments.

Enhancements to CA Technologies current mainframe line include expanding its management workspace, CA Mainframe Chorus, to include two new roles for Security and Compliance, and Storage Management; issue new releases of the Chorus platform and the DB2 for z/OS Database Management role; and provide the base for development of seamless, cross-platform management solutions.

In addition, CA is integrating cross-platform management for application performance and process automation to help IT proactively manage services across the enterprise. For example, with the CA Cross Enterprise Application Performance Management solution, IT can trace transactions through distributed and mainframe environments, across virtualized and physical systems within the firewall and into the cloud.

With its comprehensive management strategy, CA Technologies  is also providing the Mainframe Value Program, a free assessment that helps customers maximize the value of the CA software they already own, and the Mainframe Software Rationalization Program, which helps organizations minimize costs by consolidating multiple vendors' software into a standardized, integrated management stack.

Complete details about the CA Next-Generation Mainframe Management approach are available from CA at