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June 19, 2018 DevOps 0 Comments

Top Five Mainframe DevOps Drivers: The Wind in Your Sails

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Organizations across every industry are realizing DevOps can help them accelerate the development and delivery of digital innovation to “hundreds of millions of divinely discontent [sic] customers,” as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos rightly calls them, who are constantly looking for the best products to solve their biggest needs.

This goes for large, mainframe-powered organizations, too, where the mainframe is the bedrock of customer-facing technologies of engagement. Implementing mainframe DevOps to include the platform in your cross-platform DevOps ecosystem is key to ensuring it can keep pace with the agile systems it supports.

In our recent webcast, “Top Five Mainframe DevOps Drivers, Challenges and Solutions,” we delved into important feedback that attendees of our IBM zTech University – London DevOps session were kind enough to share with us, including:

  1. What is the wind in your sails? What is driving the transformation?
  2. What are your anchors? What is holding you back?
  3. How can you lift the anchor? What solutions would help you bring new technology to market faster?

Watch the webcast to learn about the top five mainframe DevOps drivers, challenges and solutions.

In this post we cover the top five mainframe DevOps drivers based on that helpful feedback, so you can use it in your own DevOps projects. In a future post, we’ll discuss the top five challenges to mainframe DevOps and top five solutions.

1. Market Demands

From banking to retail to government agencies, large organizations face new margin pressures as smaller but nimbler disruptors encroach on their market and as stricter compliance regulations are established to increase consumer protections. These and other pressures are driving organizations to become more competitive. Putting software at the core of the services they provide customers is essential. IT must become fundamental to what they do.

Hence, in many organizations, IT is now being given the resources and budget it deserves, and it includes the mainframe because the mainframe is often the core system of record all other systems rely on. As Agile distributed teams spin up digital innovations that help their organizations meet the higher demands of customers faster, mainframe teams must also move with the times, and they can with DevOps.

2. Demand for Speed to Market

There are hundreds of ideas put forth by customers and employees on what businesses can do to improve, but many of those ideas take a long time to materialize, and by then the idea may no longer be relevant.

Speed to market is essential to compete. With mainframe DevOps you can focus on improving velocity alongside quality and efficiency to enable your business applications to morph and change into what’s needed to keep customers coming back to you. Without it, you give a free lunch to your competitors.

3. Collaboration

Businesses experience great success when cross-functional teams come together to deliver new capabilities. Bringing your mainframe out of its silo and including it in your broader IT ecosystem gets everyone working at the same speed.

Bringing together the right skills, building the right teams, letting them do their magic—this is cultural transformation, the benefits of which include knowledge sharing, open communication, reduced conflict and innovation that speeds up delivery. Collaboration is a major step to working in Agile ways; the key to transformation; and a big reason why mainframe-inclusive DevOps works so well for businesses.

4. Passion

Many people are what you might call “caged tigers:” they have lots of ideas bouncing around in their heads, but they are limited by their job title. Empowering these people to experiment with new ideas, tools and processes can lead to great rewards across teams and the business.

Mainframe DevOps can help you get people to be passionate about what they do, and that passion will spread across teams. Companies that are continuously improving are the ones with passionate people.

5. Buy-in from Leadership

Transformation in the way organizations work is significant. Moving from Waterfall to Agile is not easy, and it can’t happen overnight. But it is easy for some parts of business to get left behind while others start racing ahead. Leadership needs to drive the change, and that means giving teams permission to experiment with new processes and tools to ensure they can all begin making progress.

Mistakes will happen, and leadership must allow for it. Rather than punishing teams, make sure they’re allowed to grow. Organizations that nurture passionate explorers give their business an edge over competition

Next: Mainframe DevOps Challenges

We learned a great deal about what drives mainframe DevOps from those who attended our DevOps session at IBM zTech University – London. Ultimately, whatever is driving your DevOps implementation, the scope of that initiative should include your mainframe. If it doesn’t, the challenges you experience could end up being enough to sabotage your DevOps journey. We’ll cover more about what’s holding organizations’ DevOps transformations back in our next post.

By the way, if you’re heading to DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2018 on June 25 and 26, stop by our booth S11 in the exhibition area to learn more about how we can help you modernize your mainframe environment with easy-to-use solutions that enable Agile and DevOps practices on your mainframe platform.

For a closer look at how you can improve your mainframe DevOps journey, read our eBook, “How to Ditch Waterfall for DevOps on the Mainframe.”

Read the eBook

Check out the other blog posts in this series:

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Atul Bhovan and Alan Johns

Atul Bhovan and Alan Johns are both Compuware solution consultants in the UK.
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