mainframe agility

The Monthly Mainframe Code-Drop

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The Theory of Constraints is clear. The digital enterprise is only as fast as it is where it’s slowest. And for most large enterprises, that slowest point is the mainframe.

No more. With today’s release of ISPW Deploy, Compuware is again equipping large enterprises to achieve mainframe agility and release fresh COBOL code with unprecedented speed and frequency.

Even monthly, if you’re brave enough to shake things up as much as your business—and your customers—need them to be shaken.

Why Mainframe Agility Matters

Let’s be clear. Mainframe agility matters. Mainframe applications are every large enterprise’s most critical and evolved systems. Mainframes also host their most complete and up-to-date databases. That’s why any mobile, web, and/or cloud app that extends a core business process, enables a transaction, or uses core data in a large enterprise has to work in concert with mainframe code.

So if you can’t quickly make small updates to that mainframe code whenever and wherever necessary, you’re going to be digitally hamstrung.

Monthly mainframe code-drops are therefore more than just some incremental improvement in IT performance. They’re a transformative leap that can mean the difference between success and failure for large enterprises desperately trying to stave off disruptive, digitally green-field competitors.

After all, in digital markets, enterprises must rapidly discover ideas that matter and turn them into deliverables that move the needle on value to the customer. Rapid release cycles accelerate this critical learning. So mainframe agility is an absolute competitive necessity.

The notion that large enterprises can somehow be competitive while relegating the mainframe to mere maintenance mode (sometimes referred to as “Bimodal IT”) is utter nonsense. In fact, it is proving to be fatal nonsense as large enterprises consistently fail to innovate—and are not even able to follow fast.

You can’t win a 4×100 relay with your grandfather running the anchor leg. And large enterprises can’t be digitally competitive if they are only doing one or two mainframe code-drops a year. No amount of wishful thinking will make it so.

How to Accelerate Mainframe DevOps

Achieving mainframe agility is actually simple. All you have to do is change your processes, some of your tools, and your culture.

Those process changes are well understood. They’re the lean/Agile disciplines of smaller scope, quicker scrums, and team empowerment.

The new tools you need, you can get from Compuware. These include the automated software deployment we delivered with today’s new release of ISPW—as well as the innovative SCM, testing, and diagnostic ops we’ve rolled out like clockwork every quarter since 1Q15. We also integrate your mainframe tools with mainstream Agile/DevOps solutions from partners like Atlassian, Jenkins, SonarSource, and XebiaLabs.

Culture change is tougher. Mainframe teams have been doing things the same way for years. That can create strong resistance to change.

But you’re not running IT for the comfort of mainframe developers. You’re running it for your customers. And your customers require you to be as digitally responsive to their demands as your most digitally adept competitors. So you must accelerate your mainframe code-drops—or face the same fate as every other big, slow enterprise.

Click here for more about Compuware’s product announcements today.

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Chris O'Malley

Chris O’Malley is CEO of Compuware, where he is responsible for setting the company’s vision, mission and strategy. With 30 plus years of IT experience, Chris has led the company’s transformation into becoming the “mainframe software partner for the next 50 years.” Before joining Compuware in 2014, Chris was CEO of VelociData. Previous to that, he was CEO of Nimsoft, EVP of CA’s Cloud Products & Solutions and EVP/GM of CA’s Mainframe business unit, where he led the successful transformation of that division.