Complex mainframe environment

Decoding the Complex Mainframe Environment of Insurance IT

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As a major provider of Medicare Supplement, dental and supplemental health insurance, Physicians Mutual Insurance Company—a member of the Physicians Mutual Family—relies heavily on mainframe systems to support vast amounts of critical applications and data.

Physician Mutual’s applications span millions of lines of code that must be maintained, modified and made flexible enough to support changing business needs. However, the level of mainframe code complexity, insufficient documentation and lack of modern development tools capable of managing the code base eventually led to drawn out development cycles and an inability to act quickly on advantageous business interests.

Realizing the Need for Mainframe Innovation

Upon missing critical business opportunities due to a lack of modern mainframe development tools, Physicians Mutual determined it needed a solution to help its developers:

  • Gain immediate program knowledge
  • Quickly understand complex logic and data relationships
  • Receive regular feedback throughout the development lifecycle
  • Shorten the development lifecycle

Additionally, Physicians Mutual was aware of the accelerating mainframe development skills shortage as experienced developers began to retire across the mainframe industry. The insurance company realized it needed to adopt a modern development tool that would be familiar and intuitive to inexperienced mainframe developers, and make the complex mainframe environment understandable and appealing to next-generation developers.

Incorporating Modern Mainframe Development

Based on Physician Mutual’s need for elucidating its complex mainframe environment to improve developer productivity and open up more opportunities to capitalize on immediate business opportunities, the insurance company decided a modern mainframe development tool would allow its developers to:

  • Carry out faster code analysis for determining changes, impacts and requirements
  • Improve development productivity regardless of developer experience
  • Identify problems earlier in the development lifecycle
  • Visualize relationships of application code, interdependencies and impact analysis
  • Unify data management between mainframe and distributed systems

To learn more about the modern mainframe development tool Physicians Mutual adopted to reduce the complexity of its mainframe environment and improve developer productivity, allowing the insurance company to take advantage of immediate business opportunities, read the Physicians Mutual case study here.

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Michael Siemasz

Content Marketer at Compuware
Mike Siemasz is Compuware's content marketer. He writes about technology, business and industry culture. Prior to joining Compuware, he studied written communication and worked as a writer and digital marketer in a variety of settings.