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December 5, 2013

90 percent of CIOs lack mainframe visibility

Global survey finds IT ‘firefighting’ mainframe problems.

By Jason Stamper

A survey conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by performance management firm Compuware found almost 90% of CIOs are using outdated transaction monitoring practices that don’t provide visibility into how distributed and mainframe applications interact.

In addition, IT staff are spending needless time in ‘war rooms’ trying to resolve complex application issues they can’t see, according to Compuware.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 350 CIOs around the world for the study.

"The survey results paint a picture of what IT departments have to cope with on a day-to-day basis," said Kris Manery, SVP and general manager, mainframe solutions at Compuware. "The findings showed that more than half of customer-facing and business-critical applications are dependent on the mainframe. At the same time, 68 percent of CIOs felt distributed application developers are unaware of the impact they have on the mainframe environment. That is cause for concern as a poorly optimized application interacting with the mainframe will drive up MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) costs unnecessarily. Those costs could be drastically reduced if developers had visibility into how their code was impacting the mainframe."

The firm said distributed applications often increase mainframe usage but that the links between such apps and the mainframe are often not well understood or even documented. It said some developers don’t know how to optimise their code for the mainframe, potentially wasting MIPS.

The survey found that 55% of enterprise applications call upon the mainframe to complete transactions. 89 percent of CIOs said mainframe workloads are increasing and becoming more varied. According to their estimates, distributed applications have produced a 44% increase in workload over the past five years.

Furthermore, 87% of CIOs believe the complexity of enterprise appliations is creating new risks in relation to mainframe application performance, and 91% said new customer-facing applications are accessing the mainframe. Concerns amongst those polled included potentially lost revenues (48%), loss of employee productivity (47%) and brand/reputation damage (43%).

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