A new global study shows that in a complex IT landscape, the mainframe still plays a significant role of encouraging innovation and growth in the enterprise, according to software solutions firm CA Technologies, which commissioned the study from Decipher Research.
CA Technologies vice president, Asia South, Victor Cheng, said the study - 'The Mainframe as a Mainstay of the Enterprise 2012' - shows three major trends on the current and future role of the mainframe.
"The mainframe is playing an increasingly strategic role in managing the evolving needs of the enterprise; the mainframe is viewed as an enabler of innovation as big data and cloud computing transform the face of enterprise IT; and companies are seeking candidates with cross-disciplinary skillsets to fill critical mainframe workforce needs in the new enterprise IT paradigm," said Cheng.
He said that 95 percent of the respondents from Malaysia who participated in the study confirm the mainframe is a strategic or highly strategic part of their current and future IT plans.
"Almost all of the respondents from these two countries (95 percent) believe the mainframe is or will be a highly strategic platform in their cloud computing efforts," said Cheng.
"Notably, 85 percent of the Malaysia based respondents believe their organisations will face a shortage of mainframe skills in the future, yet all the respondents felt their organisations were moderately or highly prepared to ensure the continuity of their mainframe workforce."
Global drive to real-time data
"In the U.S., more than 75 percent respondents and more than 80 percent of global respondents confirm the mainframe is a strategic or highly strategic part of their current and future IT plans," he said. "In terms of spending, just more than half (51 percent) of U.S. respondents and 46 percent of global respondents plan to increase spending for mainframe software in the next 12-18 months, while a third of U.S. respondents (30 percent) and 36 percent of global respondents anticipate an increase in hardware spending in the next 12-18 months. Additionally, 37 percent of U.S. respondents and 44 percent internationally plan to increase spending on mainframe-related services."
"We can assume that the staggering growth of real-time data and the need for massive processing power to collate and analyse all that information surely has a lot to do with this trend," said Florida-based Toigo Partners International's managing principal, Jon Toigo.
"E-commerce alone is generating huge volumes of data, and larger corporations in particular need a blend of power, scalability and security to manage the incoming information," said Toigo. They need the best tools and a mix of good technologies, including the mainframe, to stay competitive."
CA Technologies' Cheng said that with the rise of cloud computing, Big Data and enterprise mobility, the mainframe is expected to enable technology innovation for years to come. More than half of both U.S. and global respondents (51 percent and 58 percent, respectively) believe the mainframe is or will be a highly strategic platform in their cloud computing efforts.
"Flexibility in the delivery of new services, scalability and security were cited as the 'most important' (U.S. ranking) and 'important' (global ranking) benefits in leveraging the mainframe to enable cloud," he said. "As such, 63 percent of respondents globally and 65 percent in the U.S. are either currently evaluating or planning to deploy new tools that enable the rapid deployment and cost-efficient provisioning of private and hybrid cloud services on the mainframe platform in the next 12-36 months.
"We're seeing a market in transition. Companies around the world are assessing how they can rapidly adapt to new cloud models and enable the delivery of new business services to meet the ever increasing demands on IT," said Cheng. "The mainframe continues to be a strategic platform that delivers the flexibility, scalability and security needed to meet these new service demands and business priorities."
He said that as mobile continues to be a driving force in IT innovation, companies will continue to integrate mobility into their mainframe initiatives. More than two thirds of U.S. respondents and 74 percent of global respondents say they already have or are planning to sanction mobile management of the mainframe within the next 18 months.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.