Matt: Hello everyone, welcome to The Modern Mainframe. I’m Matt DeLaere. We have quite a big episode for you today. As you may have heard, on June 1st, BMC’s acquisition of Compuware was finalized. We’re joined today by Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley to discuss the acquisition, what it means for our customers, and the bright road ahead.
So, thanks for joining us, Chris, how are you?
Chris: I’m good, Matt, how are you?
Matt: I’m great, thanks. Looking forward to this.
So, BMC‘s acquisition of Compuware has generated a lot of excitement from folks from both companies and almost a feeling of, “Finally!” Why does this move makes sense and why now?
Chris: Providing some context, I think, is helpful. So, when I came to Compuware five and a half years ago, it’s a long time ago, but the mainframe market was in a far different place than it is today. The customers, certainly, five and half years ago, weren’t looking at the mainframe, necessarily, as a strategic platform. CIOs tended to look at it as part of the past, not part of the future—their attention was in other places within the organization. In the mainframe market, in terms of the vendors, there wasn’t a ton of innovation, there wasn’t things happening in ways that made people feel comfortable that the future of the mainframe was going to be one that would answer the demands of DevOps and the demands of Agile, and the analysts were pretty negative on the platform. Gartner, specifically, had come up with this idea of Bimodal IT, which proved to be a complete folly, and it was this idea that it would operate in two speeds. You have basically a part of IT that’s looking to the future and building applications and digital experiences that corresponded to what they wanted to be and that these things, the legacy platforms and applications would just kind of stay in their current state, and as new workloads were written, or redone, eventually the old part of IT would go away. Anybody who actually understands IT, anything close to the reality of it, would know that that’s ridiculous to think that you could separate the two. It really is one where you to have one culture, one set of methods, one set of tools that transcend all of IT towards the ends of better mastering. The efforts have got to be done to support your customers increasingly increasing demands. So, Gartner was promoting that idea, so people were obviously thinking about the mainframe as kind of remaining as it’s always been.
Well, you fast forward to today, the realization by CIOs that the mainframe is here to stay is showcased in the BMC surveys that they do every year. I think right now, 92% of CIOs believe the mainframe will be relevant for a decade and beyond. They wouldn’t say that about anything probably, other than the cloud.
So, they’ve reintroduced themselves to the importance of the platform, the need to bring it forward and modernize it and mainstream it. And things like the recent events of COVID, as an example, where everybody’s gone home and everybody’s having to, in order to get their needs met, they’ve got to do everything online. People aren’t using cash, people aren’t using checks, to a certain extent, they’re not even using credit cards physically, where they’re giving to get to another person—actually buying everything online and picking it up. So, that change, which is somewhat dramatic, certainly, for a lot of people who continue to use checks and cash, but that change is creating a bursting effect of transactions worldwide where all of those little discrete transactions are being pushed to, in most instances, a mainframe, which continues to be the best systems of record platform in the world. And its ability to respond to this surge of transactions efficiently, reliably, in a performant way, with incredible security, is telling CIOs that there’s a place for mainframes, and it has an incredibly important role, an irreplaceable role—there’s nothing else that can do things equivalently.
So, all of these things have gotten CIOs thinking that we’ve got to have a mainframe modernization agenda. You’re also hearing analysts say things now, Gartner specifically, they killed the idea of Bimodal IT and they’ve moved on to the idea that the mainframe does have to be brought into the digital age. DevOps on the platform is an absolute necessity, Agile on the platform is an absolute necessity. So, they’re giving much different advice five and a half years later. The ecosystem has changed.
Compuware, specifically, has been an innovative force on the mainframe platform. DevOps on the mainframe, or Agile on the mainframe had never been done when I started five and half years ago. Certainly, Compuware is a wonderful example. We are 100% Agile. DevOps is a journey, you’re never done, but the scale of automation that we’ve done, the improved release frequency, how we do from creating empowered product teams that are much, much better at being attuned to what customers need and making sure that our backlogs are properly prioritized. We’re showing that you can do anything on the mainframe that you can do on any other platform. And that’s wonderful, but what’s even more wonderful is the fact that we are now seeing customers all over the world achieving things that people five and half years ago would have thought impossible.
There’s a large UK bank that has quadrupled the output of their developers in terms of story points delivered, which is a reasonably good measure of the fact that they’ve used techniques in terms of the culture, the methods, and the tooling, to create a force multiplier relative to their staff, in bringing innovation to market that customers care about. They’ve taken steps to automate the area of of testing, as an example. Testing is an outrageous waste of time in terms of traditional means by which people have done things on the mainframe, but now there’s tools like Topaz for Total Test, which allow you to automate unit testing, functional testing, both virtualized, non-virtualized, to take back all of those wasted effort and time on manual techniques, but then also give your developers far faster feedback, so they’re understanding the problems that they may have created very, very quick in the development cycle so that they’re best able to respond. So, you’re seeing banks in the UK achieve those kind of outcomes, you’re seeing DevOps and Agile happening in companies in the Nordics, in Switzerland, in South Africa, many places in United States, and now in Australia, as well.
So, the market has dramatically changed, and we’ve reached now a point where it’s not just the innovators and early adopters within the mainframe market that are taking these steps or adding DevOps. It’s now the early majority, the late majority, so it’s kind of we’re at the middle of that bell curve, and that necessitates for customers a larger vendor with a broader portfolio and larger scale to help them on these Agile and DevOps journeys which are partly, obviously, a technological problem, you’ve got to get the right tools to do it, a modern DevOps toolchain to do those efforts on the mainframe. But you also need consulting support—you need help.
It’s not like there are people all the world who know how to do DevOps well, and Agile well. So, looking to third parties to help you on that journey is really, really important.
And we also, we as a company have really been fixated on the developer space, to try to make that developer experience one where the mainframe is equal to any other platform, different only in syntax, so that everything else that you use is familiar. But now, as customers get further and further along, and they think about increasing developer responsibility and shifting left, these increasing efforts that they want to put in their purview, one of the obvious things is database schemas. In the development world, in the mainframe, a developer needed to, as part of a change, get a table modified, or add data that’s being collected, they had to go to basically a DBA put it in their queue and wait, wait, wait, wait for them to respond. We should be at a point in time where developers can make those modifications, at least in test, have that not be a bottleneck scenario, so that they can be again in a scenario where their throughput is, their productivity is getting better and better with time.
So, when you look now at Compuware and BMC, it’s almost like we’ve reached a point where certainly 1 plus 1 equals 3, and that we’re better together than we would be apart in meeting the demands of customers. We’ve excelled in development tools, they’ve excelled in database tools. We both are in the operations space, but the technology that each of us has is complementary with one another.
So, now in creating the combination, you’ve got now a company that, being attuned to these customers and how they’re transforming and the requirements they’ve got, we, with that portfolio of products, is much better at being able to respond. Customers need a greater cadence of innovation, delivery all this—everybody five and a half years ago wanted to believe the last mainframe product had been invented. Certainly, that was wrong in terms of thinking. To be honest, there’s a lot of things that have got to be solved. So, this combination creates all the right chemistry to help customers to kind of reimagine, reinvent the mainframe platform for the future.
So, it’s exciting, it’s the right thing at the right time. If anything, this merger of the two, or the acquisition of Compuware by BMC, should have probably happened sooner rather than later, but we’ve got to get on our horses because with this, the acquisition, there’s a lot of responsibility and accountability that goes to these combined entities. The mainframe market needs us to do well, needs us to be passionate, needs us to be perseverant in getting through these problems that they’ve got, that have got to be solved, and courageous in doing the things necessary to create an outcome that’s better for them with those mainframes. Because that mainframe isn’t going anyplace for all the right business reasons. And the things like Agility on the platform, increased velocity in terms of deliverables, all of those things have got to happen quicker, faster.
So, again, that’s why it happened, and I think it’s a necessary step from a customer standpoint, and I expect this to be the mainframe partner for the next 50 years, the combination of the two, and better serving the needs of mainframe customers, certainly better than the larger incumbents.
Matt: I’m sure they will. The two companies, now one company, appear to have very similar cultures and really share a focus on putting customer’s needs first and addressing those needs. Can you expand on that a little bit?
Chris: Yeah, I think in the age of software, it’s all about customer obsession. It’s who knows best the envisioned state of what customers need to do the jobs that they need to perform. A developer’s role in a startup is far different from the traditional role within a mainframe-siloed organization for a company that’s been in business for 50 years, and that needs to change, it needs to be more like a startup.
So, the tenet that’s really important is customer obsession, true customer obsession. That not only can we understand the constraints and bottlenecks that customers are currently facing, but we can look into the future in collaboration with these customers to how things will be, so the evolution of our solutions are going to be constantly be in lockstep of where they need to get as they’re trying to constantly increase software delivery velocity, quality, and efficiency, get better at delivering ideas, that matter to these customers. So, if you look across the mainframe vendor spectrum, the two companies that stand out in terms of their obsession about customers and truly being attuned to the future and current constraints is BMC and Compuware. And that’s important. When you look at Compuware’s success over the last three years in terms of both revenue growth, profitability growth, it has everything to do with us being attuned to our customers in ways that we weren’t five and half years ago, six years ago, seven years ago.
So, that combination is really important. The base of technology that both of us is working from is the best in the market. Our development tools, without a doubt, are the best by a significant margin, and that margin increases every 90 days. They’re the best in database tools. They’re the best in the mainframe automation, workload automation. So, you now have for the categories of DevOps, security, database management tools, the best in the marketplace, so that is important and our products are totally complementary. There’s no overlap between the two, so there’s no, if you will, distractions, how do we look at this one product in terms of it being the same, in terms of what it’s going to market to help bring value. None of that exists between the two.
So, this customer obsession, this leading and proven track record in terms of innovation, that we’re good at innovation and delivering things the customers want, our technology is the most important when you look at the bottlenecks and constraints that customers have right now, it’s really in the areas that we’re focused on as a combined vendor. So, yeah, you couldn’t have picked two companies to put together to create the right value at the right point in time for customers than the combination of Compuware and BMC.
Matt: Right, and Compuware and BMC to that point, are no strangers to each other. They’ve worked together closely in the past, so there’s some familiarity there, common goals and what they’re trying to achieve. How do you think the combination will build upon that past collaboration?
Chris: Yeah, we’ve always, whenever confronted with the customers that needed us to work collaboratively towards the ends of meeting that customer need, we’ve got example after example of doing things at a field level or in development support of a field effort to do right by these customers, and that’s important. You need a vibrate ecosystem with that partners work together well and know at the end of the day that the customers absolutely matter most and we only work at their pleasure. So, even though we may have differences, we need to get their needs met at the end of the day. That’s the only important thing, if you really think about why a company exists. So, we’ve had a long history, we’ve had integrations between Strobe and MainView, as an example. Strobe is basically application performance management toolset, MainView is an infrastructure performance management toolset, so the natural synergy that customers want those things to work together towards the end. So, yeah, so long history of, giving one example, we’ve had a long history of working together.
I think the step though in a combined organization is that there’s a need to create basically a collective roadmap that we look, not in a reactive way, but a proactive way to the future and the examples that I gave earlier, a developer being able to change a database schema on their own and test is the way the market’s going to go. As you try to push software delivery velocity, quality, and efficiency, that’s going to be a bottleneck that needs to be resolved. Now, us thinking about the future road map of allowing the Topaz experience to have included in it abilities to change database schemas using technology and IP from BMC is a good example of how the two of us, in a thoughtful way, obsessed with customers, understanding with the right order of work that needs to be done to respond to their needs… we’re in a much better position as an organization that’s working in that way with customers than we would in a world where we’re just reacting to customers’ problems or issues.
So, the thing that I think customers need to understand is that the work that’s done on the mainframe is going to radically change over time. If you think of what a developer does today in most of mainframe organizations and the way it will be, they are going to own testing and we’ve got to give them faster feedback. They’re going to own more things in terms of affecting database changes, having to get faster input in terms of application performance so that they’re constantly working on things that get the deliverable to a state that’s going to satisfy customers. So, those radical changes in expectation of role and responsibility really fall on us to reinvent how tools work and the experiences that customers have. So, there is a massive amount of innovation that needs to be done. We, I think at Compuware have done an incredibly good job over the last five years, certainly worked our tails off, but there is so much more work to do and that you really need desperately on the mainframe an innovative partner to help you get you landed where the mainframe is equal to any other platform. So, us working as partners can sufficiently rise up to that demand from customers. We’ve got to be like Lennon and McCartney in being fully attuned to what needs to be done and making sure that every decision that we’re making in terms of our backlog is going to make this future happen as soon as it possibly can.
Matt: BMC talks about helping customers become Autonomous Digital Enterprises. And in fact, we had a post on the Compuware blog last week from BMC’s John McKenny about just that. Can you explain that customer that concept a bit to our listeners and how Compuware’s products help fit into that mission?
Chris: Yeah, this autonomous digital enterprise, the way I think it should be looked at is that I think the COVID thing is a good context for it; that everybody’s going home and they’re doing all their business online. And think about grandma that was constantly writing checks, and using cash, and she’s having to revert to a new behavior that she’s doing everything online. So, what happens when human behavior changes? And it’s certainly, in a radical way, changing right now, expectations are starting to be influenced by things that they see as best in class in terms of those digital experiences and things that are worst in class.
So, if you think about banks and insurance companies, historically they’ve depended on proximity, physical proximity. They’ve got a branch that’s close to you, they’ve got people that are there with suits and ties that represent the bank in ways that make people feel comfortable and safe. Well, that value attribute, those value attributes aren’t really that important to customers who are now accustomed and know that they want a digital experience, they want something that’s really easy for them to do, whatever it is they’re trying to do, whether it’s ordering food, or buying insurance, or whatever it may be. So, companies have to think about those digital experiences in aggressive ways, not just being incrementally better than they’ve been historically, but they’ve got to compete against Amazon, because Amazon sets the expectations of what good looks like to grandma or grandpa.
So, large enterprises, from an IT perspective, tended to be not that different, one to the next. One would do mainframes well, one would do VMware. And certainly, what they did better, it wasn’t a deciding factor for a customer in any real shape or form. Grandma didn’t buy insurance from XYZ property casualty company because they’re really good at VMware. But now IT has to rise up to the challenge that those experiences are really their responsibility. They’ve got to be attuned to the jobs that their customers are trying to do and be in business with them. What is it that we have to do to nail those jobs? And doing that well is having empowered product teams that are looking at this experience as though it were a product, translating that then into epics and stories which are features and visions of the product, creating a really thoughtful backlog that is trying to be driven through the software delivery lifecycle. So, when you think about that as a user, a customer of these companies, they want things to be as easy, autonomous, making things as simple as possible, as natural as possible. Many times I only use these experiences once every year, it’s not like I’m using them all the time, so it’s got to be so, so simple and easy to do, and that’s what’s going to keep customers, that’s it’s going to win customers over time. And if you don’t do that well, you’re going to lose customers over time.
So, that’s the right aspirational state that I think customers should be thinking about and then underpinning that they have these ideas of customer experience, creating this customer experience, that’s easy and preferred by your current and future customers. They have these ideas that underpin it, in terms of automation anywhere. You’re trying to try to automate, intrinsically, you’re trying to automate everything and anything that you can, especially those things that don’t make differences in the eyes of the customer, so that you’re getting rid of wasted time and making things easier. They have the idea of enterprise DevOps; you have to be really good at obviously discovering ideas that matter to customers, but delivering them quickly and constantly. The thing that Amazon always states, that I think is the right way to look, is that the customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, and in that dissatisfied state it presents opportunities for you to invent. So, customers are never happy, and you shouldn’t look at that as a bad thing, but an awesome thing. But, in order to make that an awesome thing, you’ve got to have really strong software delivery capabilities and DevOps is the underpinnings of it.
So, that’s one of the pillars of it. Data-driven decisions that… you’ve got to get better at not guessing, but having data that tells you the right thing to do, how to make the right decisions, what are the right things to support better experiences for your customers? So, that’s an underpinning of the autonomous digital enterprise.
And then last… It’s adapt to cyber security. The secured nature of doing business is really important. I know that I’m frustrated—there’s a hotel that I constantly use, I think it’s been breached three times in 18 months. I mean, who doesn’t know my Social Security number at this point? So, your brand is highly dependent on keeping things secure. So, these five pillars that are the underpinnings, I think are exactly right and really the agenda for which customers should focus their efforts. And certainly we as a company, Compuware extends all five of those in terms of bringing value in ways that make what the BMC/Compuware combination could do to help customers even better. So, it’s an important way to look at the problem. You’re trying to make things as easy as possible for your customers, that autonomous nature of the enterprise that I’m doing business with, and that these things, these five pillars, they’re the right things to focus an agenda on as a CIO in terms of moving your organization properly in that direction. And again, we extend their capabilities in all five of those areas.
Matt: It seems like when BMC announced their intention to purchase Compuware, I believe it was March 1st, the move obviously made a lot of sense with the way things are headed, but as you’ve mentioned, the COVID-19 situation has kind of underscored the adaptability and the need to keep up with transactions on the mainframe.
Matt: So, BMC also has non-mainframe offerings involving AI and machine learning. Do you think this area of expertise can be leveraged to grow zAdviser and its analytics even further?
Chris: Yeah, so AI is still a nascent science in terms of the promise of what things people think of it to be. But there are techniques that are being used, that are incredibly helpful as you go on that journey of its ultimate promise. And machine learning is certainly one of them. So, zAdviser’s a critical tool for organizations as they try to get in this habit of continuous improvement. If you listen to DevOps evangelists, if you listen to them for more than 15 minutes, one of the things that they’ll talk about is a culture of continuous improvement, and they emphasize it because it goes against human nature. Human nature is to work in graduated states; we go to college, and then we’re done, we check off that box and collect that as a win, and you get to a plane, and we get a job. So, when you look at these always beautifully and wonderfully dissatisfied customers, and that gives you an enormous opportunity to invent; it pre-supposes that you’re of the nature where you’re constantly critically thinking about things, that you’re looking at brutal facts and you’re trying to figure out the right formulaic way in terms of deliverables, or the experiences you’re creating to make things, in fact, better.
So, with zAdviser is an important tool to be able to look at DevOps KPIs around velocity, quality and efficiency, so you’ve got a proper scoreboard. Those are the things that are… You write measures for how you’re doing from a software delivery perspective, but you then need to know, “How do I improve them?” And so, I need data that gives me a sense of insights as to where my bottlenecks are and where my constraints are, so that gives me feedback to be critical of the way that we do things, and then being able to identify those bottlenecks and I’m starting to think about ideas, what should I do in response to them to get rid of that bottleneck so that we improve future flow?
So, in order to do that, you need to understand how developers do their work, and why being able to contrast one team with another… One team’s performing better in quality, velocity, and efficiency than another, what is the difference between the two in the way they work, and the deltas? Because if I knew the difference, and I could coach the high-patterns to the low-performing team, the lower-performing team.
So, I’m constantly in the state of being able to coach the organization forward and know that the days and the weeks matter, in getting better. Well, when you’re playing in football as an example, and you’ve only got 11 and players on both sides, and you can watch from the stands, you can see things that gives you a sense of where the bottlenecks and the constraints are, where we need to coach to better perform. But when you’ve got hundreds of programmers, you can barely see the tops of their heads over the cube, or they’re all working from home, there’s nothing to see. So, you have to visualize through data and use the visualization through data, and use machine learning, specifically, to discern patterns. So that, what are the patterns or behaviors that correlate to better outcomes versus worse outcomes?
So, the marriage of the two, of the success that we’ve had in capturing data with zAdviser… machine learning is a data problem first and foremost, you’ve got to have quality data of enough veracity and time continuum, so they actually can do interesting things. We’ve been doing zAdviser for years now, and it really only has value over years, because you need to be able to see the full set of work activity. So, in Compuware’s example, quarter to quarter, our behaviors are pretty constant, because we’re doing quarterly deliverables, we do two-week sprints. So, a quarter, one quarter against another, is a reasonable measure of performance. If a customer is doing waterfall and they do releases every 12 months, you need years of data in order to actually discern differences.
So, we’ve amassed all this data with zAdviser, and then with AMI, the machine learning expertise that they bring is another leg of that stool, if you will. It’s the data, the data scientists, machine learning expertise, and then ultimately the third leg of that stool subject matter expertise. Having a lot of data and having machine learning isn’t enough, you’ve got to have people who can look at the models, look at them in ways that maybe say, “Are we looking at things the right way or these false positives and false-negatives?”
So, certainly the combination of Compuware and BMC, and both of us looking at these things collectively, and our subject matter expertise, is only going to make both AMI, the machine learning efforts at BMC better, it’s going to make us better in terms of collecting probably better and right data and certainly ultimately giving better feedback to customers so they, again, can move from being managers of people to being coaches of high-performance athletes that’s got the proper data, and knowing what high performance looks like, knowing where my people are, where my teams are, and giving them the right coaching guidance day-to-day, week-to-week which is the things that have to happen if you’re going to get through to the scale of digital transformation that you have to, to succeed in this age of software. So, yeah, I think this is… It’s going to help the efforts of BMC in terms of what they’ve done with machine learning, it’s going to help us in terms of the promise of zAdviser and both of those things. And most importantly, it’s going to help customers because again, with all due respect, and you think about large enterprise IT and the treatment of developers, especially in the mainframe ranks, historically, it’s been a little bit like slaves in a Roman ship galley. The way they improve performance is to beat the drum faster, and that’s not the way it works in the modern age. You’ve got to look at these developers as being precious to the organization and they are high-performance athletes, and you’ve got to, as a leader in those organizations, coaching plays a massively important part of making them successful. And to coach, you need data, and the right data, the proper data, to help them in improving day-to-day.
Matt: And it’s a great analogy because even if you look at the way baseball has changed over the years, football, hockey, basketball, all the analytics, all the new measurements that they’re using, it’s analogous to what you’re saying. We’re treating them like high performance athletes.
Chris: With all of this excitement around technology, people matter, in a massive way, and I really challenge large enterprise IT organizations, you’ve got to learn to love your people. And loving your people means you’re helping to teach them and coach them. Part of that is the skill of your managers, I think, has got to get better over time. And if you get managers that look at their jobs as being nothing more than trying to make people not quit, that’s not enough. They’ve got to look at their people as gifted athletes that we want to do everything and anything we can to help them to become empowered and really reach their fullest potential. But you have to be able to have data and be able to visualize that data in ways that you can have a constructive dialogue. Not month-to-month or part of an annual review, but day-to-day. You should be able to give input to teams and individuals that help to push them along. So, it’s definitely a different way to think about your folks and I think a necessary change, and a desperately needed one. I don’t think the average organization right now loves their people in the ways that I’m describing; that their actions would show that they’re doing the things to coach them and make these people better and reach their full potential. Certainly, innovators and early adopters, and we’re seeing more and more mainframe customers look at it that way, but that’s not the norm and it quickly needs to be.
Matt: You’ve been quite a leader for Compuware over the past five and a half years; made Compuware lead by example. So, what will your role be as we move forward?
Chris: So, I’m going to continue what I’ve been doing. BMC sees this as a combined company that’s going to reinvent the future of the platform. So, they’re looking at this, not in the next quarter, but the next 10 years, 20 years. They see in Compuware a lot of good things that we’ve done. The innovation capability that we’ve created; our customer sat score is considered best in class for a software company, not just a mainframe one, but generally speaking across all software companies; our employee engagement is twice the national average—it’s considered best in class as it relates to software. There are certain things that we’re doing incredibly well. But BMC does things incredibly well. You mentioned machine learning, as an example. Their customer support is considered the best in the market, so we’re trying and BMC is trying, to carefully think through how do we make one plus one equal three.
So, in the near-term nothing will change from a customer standpoint, as we kind of share with each other our best practices and really the focus of both of our parts in the short term is, “Let’s talk to customers, we know things, you know things, you have really good customers, we have really good customers.” So, the smarter that we get in understanding that beautifully and wonderfully dissatisfied customer base and what is it that they need, what innovation do they need. And the fact that we now have the combination of the two, how does that change our road maps and what we deliver? That’s where the majority of the time is being spent. So, next week as an example, I’m presenting to the BMC executive council, which is the executives in their largest customers. And as much as me talking about Compuware, hearing from them. So that I get sharper in helping be a contributing factor of building a reinvented future of the mainframe platform.
So, I’m going to continue to do that. Compuware actually was maintained as a brand, so it will be called, “Compuware, a BMC company.” So, for the short term, nothing will change, but I do need everybody to understand that the acquisition wasn’t intended to keep us separate. It’s intended for us to create a brand new mainframe company that is more capable of answering the call of mainframe customers and increasing our capacity to innovate on their behalf. because there’s so much work that needs to be done.
So, I’m trying as hard as I can to work towards that ultimate outcome as quickly as possible. We want to create the best mainframe software company for the next 50 years. So, that’s my focus right now is towards to that end. So, if you’re bored of me being the CEO, you’re going to continue to be bored, if you’re excited, you’ll continue to be excited. But, I’m not going anyplace.
Matt: Well, good. It looks like we’re just about out of time. Do you have any final thoughts for our listeners?
Chris: What I would say is that if you look at the history of the mainframe this, without a doubt, is the most exciting time. I really challenge mainframe people generally that you’ve got to stop leaning on the virtues of the platform that carried it to this point. They’re important, obviously. Reliability, performance, security, transactional efficiency are really important. And they’re made more important in the digital age. But you can’t look at that like a badge of honor, to stay in a state of stasis. You have to understand that the mainframe has to have amended virtues to it in terms of agility, velocity, greater efficiency, there’s been selective automation on the platform, it’s got to be intrinsic automation—everything’s got to be automated that can be automated. So, all of us have to look at that platform in a reinvented way and you’ve got to be part of accepting the fact that change is a necessary part of the future of the mainframe platform and don’t fight against that change. But you see, as I gave the example earlier that companies that are embracing the need to change—to get more Agile, more nimble, higher velocity—you’re seeing customers quadruple the productivity of their developers. That’s huge and should not be ignored. And somebody who’s saying that “We do everything right” and then hearing that somebody else is has quadrupled the productivity of their folks, I mean, that’s not okay to stand still and not understand how they did it, why they did it, how it’s making a difference. You get examples of customers who have taken testing times down by 90% and improved the quality of what they deliver. You can’t ignore that. You need to understand how they are doing it. To not do it is to burn your company’s money in the parking lot.
So, it’s the most exciting time to be on the mainframe that there’s probably ever been. But there’s a need for you to change and evolve and adapt. And you talk about Compuware has gone through a huge transformation, and I can point to Agile development methods and DevOps development methods as the building blocks towards this newfound success that we’ve had in customer sat, and employee engagement and profitability. But one of the things that’s awesome about it is 70% of the people that are in development today were here the day that I started. So, people did change. They changed radically in terms of the way they do their jobs, and they’ve been a force in making the company successful. So, don’t look at what you’ve done as a badge of honor and wanting to be acknowledged for all the good that you’ve created. You certainly have and you deserve the respect, but you’ve got to think about, “How do I build a bridge to the future, and make this mainframe a source of pride and strength in the age of software, in the digital age?” But that means you’ve got to change.
So, step up to that challenge with a growth mindset. Don’t have a fixed mindset. And if you do, you’re going to make that mainframe have the same kind of success outcomes that I talked about with that large UK bank. And that’s where your energies and focus should be. So, Matt, thank you.
Matt: Thank you.
Chris: I enjoyed it.
Matt: As did I. As we talked about, this is an exciting time for Compuware, for BMC, and for our customers. So, it’ll be fun to see what’s coming. And thank you again for joining us, thank you to our customers, without whom none of this would be possible, and, of course, thank you to everyone listening. We’re looking forward to going on this journey with you. So, we’ll talk to you next time on The Modern Mainframe.
Chris: God bless, everybody.