Mainframe Customers Say Reducing Software Spend is Top IT Priority

HOUSTON, Oct. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 70 percent of mainframe customers cite cost reduction as one of their top four IT priorities, according to the latest annual survey of nearly 1,200 mainframe customers by BMC Software. Other priorities include application availability (52%), application modernization (48%) and data privacy (47%) – which moved up from the sixth position in prior surveys.

A video accompanying this release is available at

Despite the mainframe's perception as a legacy platform, customers who report that one of their top priorities is cloud, big data or mobility indicate that their mainframes are increasingly used as a full-fledged participant in digital business efforts. In fact, 91% of all respondents consider the mainframe to be a long-term strategic platform, with 61% expecting growth in their environment in the next two years.

"The mainframe continues to evolve with global IT and business needs," said Bill Miller, BMC president of ZSolutions and Select Technologies. "Customers clearly value the mainframe's availability, security and data management advantages, but they need a support system to better manage workloads and software license costs."

Software spend continues to dominate mainframe budgets for 39% of customers, with Monthly License Charges (MLC) representing the top cost for 22% of those surveyed. The top three strategies to reduce MLC costs include moving workloads to run outside peak windows (39%); tuning workloads to reduce utilization (37%); and configuring Workload Manager to automatically manage performance (36%).

BMC has launched several new mainframe innovations in the last year to help customers reduce costs and improve workload management. New products include Cost Analyzer, Intelligent Capping and Subsystem Optimizer for zEnterprise. These solutions play an important role in BMC's "Living IT" strategic initiative, which puts people at the heart of IT while fueling digital transformation through high-speed innovation and industrialization. The results also showed that customers rate BMC as a leader in helping them reduce the cost of mainframe management, jumping 25% in two years.

The ninth annual BMC mainframe survey was conducted in June 2014 in conjunction with a third party, resulting in 1,194 completed online surveys globally from both BMC customers and non-customers. Additional findings include:

  • Most (91%) report that the mainframe is a viable long-term platform, with most (60%) expecting MIPS growth due to legacy and new applications;
  • Top mainframe advantages include availability (53%); security (51%); centralized data serving (47%) and transaction throughput (42%).
  • Large IT shops (above $2 billion revenue) have a significantly higher outlook for workload and MIPS growth compared to small and medium IT shops;
  • The "four-hour rolling average" for mainframe use typically peaks during prime online transaction processing periods (31%), with overnight batch processing a close second (30%);
  • Those reporting their MLC peak occurs during daytime batch increased, whereas those reporting their peak during period-end batch declined.
  • Within application availability (#2 priority), top priorities include visibility into end-to-end performance (22%), faster problem notification (19%), elimination of planned outages (16%) and improved automation (16%);
  • The majority (60%) cannot tolerate an outage greater than 5 minutes, and 39% cannot tolerate an outage of greater than 1 minute. Respondents rely on mirror versions (53% of large shops) and data backup (46% of small shops) as their primary recovery solutions;
  • Within data privacy (#4 priority), the top need is to ensure compliance with regulations and/or internal auditors (48%);
  • The mainframe's cloud role includes data access (33%), cloud management from Linux® on System z® (22%) and dynamic test environments via self-service (15%);
  • Within big data, 34% report that the mainframe acts as the analytics engine, while 28% say data is moved off platform, and 14% report that mainframe data is federated to an off-platform analytics engine.
  • Watch the video
  • Complete access to the full survey can be found here.

About BMC

BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. We have worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, we pair high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization—allowing our customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT performance, cost, compliance, and productivity. We believe that technology is the heart of every business, and that IT drives business to the digital age.

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CONTACT: Editorial contacts: Ann Duhon BMC Software direct: 713.918.3201 mobile: 713.562.8817 Allie McCormick WCG direct: 512.298.1172 mobile: 512.657.2513

Source:BMC Software, Inc.