IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2017 - SE49
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THE MAINFRAME & FUTURE OF
DIGITAL CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
With 30-plus years of IT
experience, Chris has led
into becomming the "mainframe
software partner for the next
In today's highly competitive marketplace, an organization's success is largely based
on its ability to quickly turn ideas that matter into digital deliverables that delight
customers. And to do so continuously.
The mainframe plays a critical role in this success as it contains decades of business
logic that runs efficiently, securely and without fail. Yet expanding web and mobile app
portfolios are increasingly hitting your mainframe while younger developers with few
mainframe-specific skills are assuming more responsibility for this code. Your current
tools, processes and culture will not help you cope with these realities.
If your mainframe team uses outdated tools and processes and is stuck in an outdated
culture, you can't quickly adapt mainframe applications and data to improve customer
experience in new and competitively useful ways. You also can't apply tremendous
next-generation developer talent and creativity to the mainframe.
Ultimately, you paint yourself into a corner with two awful alternatives: a) resign the
mainframe to life as a slow and awkward repository of difficult-to-access data and
incomprehensible application logic, or b) go through an expensive, painful and thankless
re-platforming endeavor, exposing you to the proven likelihood of epic failure.
Neither of these options is as compelling as modernizing your mainframe culture,
processes and tools-which is far more practical, far less costly and risky, and delivers
far greater benefits.
To ensure their mainframes can optimally support the business for the foreseeable
future, enterprise leaders need to:
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1. Modernize to graphical and intuitive tools that help next-generation developers,
regardless of experience level, work with and intimately understand your mainframe
apps and data so as not to compromise quality.
2. Adopt cross-platform DevOps tools and processes. Make it easy for multiple
developers working on multiple application pieces to quickly build and deploy
their code in parallel.
3. Move toward automated release management across mainframe and non-mainframe
environments to quickly, reliably and frequently deliver new capabilities.
To be successful, strong leadership roles are necessary to implement these changes
in processes and culture. Your mainframe code is fantastically valuable proprietary
intellectual property that has to be accessed and updated more often and more quickly
than ever. The alternative is market irrelevance.
www.ibmsystemsmag.com/buyersguide 2017 // 49
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