As someone who has been in the mainframe business for years, I’ve heard countless worries about the future of the mainframe and its structural compatibility with modern innovation. Innovation is vital to a business that wants to stay competitive and continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience. So, it begs the question: how can we continue to innovate effectively while maintaining mainframe as the vital backbone of your business?
Since CA’s acquisition by Broadcom in November, we’ve taken time to look to the future to realize what we can achieve in our new organization. Greg Lotko explained some of the exciting changes coming as we look to the future in his latest mainframe.ai blog. Vikas Sinha’s blog described our strategy for helping our customers succeed. Here, you will find how we are looking to the future as it relates to each of our product areas.
Quite simply, by using a smart, balanced approach. By maintaining the core of who we are while investing for the future.
We know that change is hard. The law of inertia tells us just that. It isn’t a function of nature for an object’s motion to increase unless it is acted upon by another force. The same can be said for motion decreasing, too. So what is the inertia that tends to hold mainframe at a standstill?
First, it’s difficult to make major changes to a platform that is crucial to your business 24-7. Just like performing surgery on a beating heart, making major changes to the mainframe is a massive, careful undertaking. Second, with almost half of mainframers today being over 50 and just 7% being under 30, the mainframe workforce is aging. Third, mainframe technology lasts a long time — and that’s a good thing! — however, it lacks modern interfaces that newer developers are accustomed to.
But across our mainframe portfolio, we have made strides in not only modernizing our core, established products that your business relies on, but driving completely new innovations, too.
DevOps and Application Development
In our DevOps area, we’re working toward making the mainframe as easy to develop on as the cloud. We do this by opening mainframe to modern development and DevOps automation, which helps mainstream developers not have to care what platform they are working with. For example, we are leveraging Project Zowe and the sphere of the open mainframe. We’ve also added CA Endevor plugins to enterprise GIT repositories to make mainframe development more accessible to those comfortable with GIT. Our own teams use these DevOps innovations to reduce overall time to production and increase productivity through automation.
Enterprise-wide Security and Compliance
Imagine the implications of a security breach related to your customers’ data on your mainframe because your account credentials were compromised. You’d probably rather not. And you don’t have to, because we have added multi-factor authentication to our core security products, such as CA Top Secret and CA ACF2 to protect these sensitive mainframe credentials. We’ve also developed new innovations like CA Data Content Discovery (DCD) to significantly reduce the risk of a mainframe data breach, and provide organizations with a comprehensive view of their data landscape. At the root of our security vision, our goal is to make the mainframe accessible and frictionless for your trusted users without risking security.
Intelligent Operations and Automation
Optimizing mainframe operations is critical but the amount of operational data and the time required to analyze and derive insights from the data can make this more than a full-time job for the limited staff responsible for it. We need to introduce a more intelligent and automated data center and provide an integrated solution that enables staff to manage the mainframe in the context of your broader hybrid IT environment. We need to help the Operations experts predict problems before they occur rather than react after they happen. CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence provides the capability to recognize in real time the anomalies that can lead to poor performance, bad response times and outages. Combine this with CA Dynamic Capacity Intelligence and businesses can ensure Mainframe capacity is directed towards the appropriate tasks to meet SLAs. And, at the same time, optimize the use of this capacity to reduce MLC costs.
In all three of our product areas, we are making meaningful investments to drive innovation — to ensure your mainframe, and thus your business, thrives in a modern world. It is about modern development methods, enhanced security, automation, and so much more. Most importantly, it is all about balance, making sure we innovate all while keeping the mainframe what it should be — the backbone of your business.
While our portfolio is diverse and meets a wide set of needs, it all strives toward our common goals — creating a more integrated, agile mainframe and focusing everything in on our three guiding principles: being Open, Frictionless, and Optimized.