The digital transformation of the economy isn’t abating—it’s revving up intensely, and the mainframe is inextricably tied to the success of enterprises bound to this unstoppable process.

Over the last year, you’ve heard this from us and leading industry analysts such as Forrester Research. And now our partner BMC, a global leader in software solutions, has helped confirm this assessment after releasing its 11th annual mainframe research results in “Digital Business Is Driving Growth on the Mainframe.”

The new BMC survey includes feedback from over 1,200 mainframe professionals, including executives and technical professionals. Respondents fell into three groups:

  • Increasing group: 58 percent of respondents said they plan to increase mainframe usage by “adding and exploiting new technologies to drive digital business”
  • Steady group: 23 percent of respondents said they will remain steady in mainframe usage by “maintaining critical applications”
  • Reducing group: 19 percent of respondents said they plan on reducing mainframe usage and moving to another platform

The majority of respondents landed in the increasing group and favor of a rise in mainframe usage, illuminating two key concepts:

  1. Digital business is increasing mainframe activity
  2. The mainframe is here to stay

Digital Business Is Increasing Mainframe Activity

According to BMC, “Digital business is having measurable effects on the mainframe” regarding how much activity the platform sees, including “higher data and transaction volumes, and an increase in workload volatility and unpredictability.” But just because the mainframe is receiving this activity, does that mean it’s the best platform for it? Respondents of BMC’s survey think so, claiming the mainframe is better than any other platform for security, availability, data serving and high performance.

To boot, BMC also reported that “67 [percent] of large companies have seen increased capacity in the last 12 months and the majority have seen higher activity,” and 70 percent expect capacity growth in the next 24 months. With most of BMC’s respondents planning to expand mainframe capacity to handle increased activity, it can only point toward a future where the platform continues to play a vital role in the digital transformation of enterprises.

The Mainframe Is Here to Stay

The new BMC survey research indicating increased activity bolsters the case being made that the mainframe is here to stay. Also supporting that notion is the 89 percent of respondents who “predict long-term viability” of the mainframe. What’s the case for this?

Overall, specifically in the case of BMC’s Increasing group, respondents are experiencing greater growth in data and application areas. Growth in these areas is the result of companies increasing mainframe investments in capacity and workloads, innovation, automation, recruitment and answering business needs or changes.

These actions indicate the shift toward Agile-DevOps mainframe development. Enterprises must acknowledge that as the digital economy accelerates, they will be forced to shed monolithic tools and slow, antiquated waterfall development practices and adopt nimbler DevOps processes to compete with industry disruptors.

Digital Business Is Driving Growth on the Mainframe” gives a thorough explanation for why the mainframe plays a key role in digital transformation and should be expected to experience longevity in the enterprise IT architecture. If you’re enterprise is currently deciding the future of its mainframe, we recommend that you read the new BMC survey.