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At SHARE Dallas, we met face-to-face with over 500 of our fellow mainframers. It was refreshing to be together in the same room with everyone. Not in our offices. Not on Zoom. But in-person, exchanging ideas and continuing to learn from all of you about how your businesses are transforming — and what’s required in a partnership to help you succeed in your journey.
We live in an increasingly digital world. From digital payments to online grocery shopping or telemedicine, the number of digital experiences we engage with each day is growing exponentially. These experiences are not unlike what is portrayed in the film, The Matrix, where the blending of the physical and virtual worlds permeated every aspect of life.
Today’s race to digital is creating a pivotal moment for leaders. Now, more than ever, they are called to address a range of new pressures and priorities, such as unprecedented spikes in transactions, extraordinary volumes of data, and threats from everywhere. The mainframe platform and its vibrant ecosystem is helping organizations overcome these challenges and succeed as they leap-frog existing transformation timelines.
Digital Infrastructure Innovation Drivers
It has never been more important to operate a vital, modern, and secure IT infrastructure. Consider how the last few years have driven unprecedented transaction volumes and accelerated investments in integrations:
- A global logistics provider with a steady-state of 27 million packages a day increased its volume by 20% in 2019. That’s an additional 5 million packages every day, resulting in an additional 25-30 million mainframe transactions. To manage, they augmented their integrations, allowing DIY rerouting, rescheduling, signature, and more.
- A mega-retailer dramatically sped up the integration of their core applications with new technologies to support new digital distribution channels, robotics, and omnichannel shopping — all while maintaining the ability to adjust to fluctuations in compute power.
Extreme threats also play a role in driving infrastructure innovation. Hacks are an everyday occurrence, with the average cost of a mega-breach (involving 50 million or more records) in 2020 reaching $400 million. This rise in security risks is due in part to the suddenly remote workforce: privileged user accounts are more vulnerable than ever because users are now outside the network while accessing the system.
The Mainframe Revelation
This is the new norm. Ninety-one percent of executives surveyed by Harvard Business Review say that they plan to maintain this heightened pace of digital transformation. They are automating processes, analyzing and remediating issues faster, enabling self-service, boosting security, ensuring business continuity, and more. There is no question that the future will require increasingly massive computing power to support these new ways of performing everyday functions. But this is where the mainframe shines.
The platform has a huge edge when it comes to stability, adaptability, capacity, and security. The mainframe makes it possible to modernize infrastructure and advance in the digital world without the risk of disruption. For example, in the early days of COVID, one of our public sector clients needed to send checks to its entire constituency of 38 million. What would normally take several months to run had to be processed in just two weeks. Failure to handle the demand would have brought a government system to its knees.
There was no failure. Every check went out on time because mainframes are built to handle exactly this kind of variable — and even extreme — demand. That is the mainframe revelation. But how do you begin? You have the tools today. You just need to activate, deploy, and integrate.
No single technology will power the future. In fact, many systems are involved in today’s end-to-end user experiences and there will be even more in our digital future. On-premises applications, private clouds, and public clouds all play their part — but the mainframe is where the heavy lifting takes place.
The journey to modernization starts by opening up your mainframe. When you embrace open, you make it possible to work with the platform like any other platform. You open up and deploy APIs and containers to securely integrate the solutions you depend on.
Opening up your mainframe allows for a new digital literacy. It allows your non-mainframers to work effectively on the mainframe by using the tools they like best. As a result, they can readily write scripts to tap into the platform to deliver on the needs of the business.
In the fourth of The Matrix movie series, the forces of man and machine worked together. Today, 87% of business leaders consider the mainframe to be strategic to their hybrid cloud. When you enhance your hybrid cloud with mainframe capabilities, you make the best of both worlds. You can more easily unlock critical data and make it accessible to lines of business (LOBs) and systems. You can also access and integrate mainframe data with data from other sources for an enterprise view of your operations or security posture.
That’s extending value.
But success takes more than software. It requires a strong ecosystem and the right partnerships.
Partnerships are powerful. Think about Neo and how he depended on the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar: a good partner is like your Tank. Your Trinity. Your Commander. A strong partner is one who sees the mainframe platform — and its possibilities — as you do: open, integrated, and running as efficiently as possible. When you’re working with a partner who is invested in your success, they’re there to help you overcome challenges to building a workforce for the future. They offer expert support when preparing for upcoming market events like the holidays as well as new application rollouts and software upgrades.
You Are ‘The One’
Remember what Agent Smith was so ferociously seeking in the Matrix? Why they captured Morpheus and held him hostage? The answer: they wanted the keys to the mainframe.
You are “the One” in your organization who holds the keys to this vital platform. You can create a more modern, more secure, and more accessible mainframe. You make it possible to deliver quality code faster than ever before. To process huge increases in transactions with confidence. To know the identity of all who are entering your systems.
Anything is possible. You can find the door and dare to walk through it.
We will work with you side by side through your entire digital journey.
The choice is yours.
It is an exciting time for us — and for the entire mainframe ecosystem. We could not be more excited about leading the movement around amplifying the value of your investments in the platform. . . and about getting back together in person to exchange learnings and use cases from partnering together. We look forward to continuing the conversation and connecting — in- person — with each of you live at SHARE Columbus! Register now to secure your pass!