After hearing about Compuware’s two platform IT approach, the SHARE organization took interest and asked me to share Compuware’s story and our experience with the mainframe at SHARE San Jose 2017. They were interested in how the mainframe was affected during the digital age and how companies were reacting.
I was, of course, flattered and excited that SHARE was interested in Compuware’s story. I admit, though, when I found out it was a keynote session, I was a little nervous. The SHARE team wanted us to deliver our story in a “TED Talk” style. I don’t have a lot of public speaking experience, and zero as a “TED talker,” but I became a little less anxious when I considered that it’s easier to advocate for and speak about subjects you feel strongly about.
What Is Two Platform IT?
The two platform IT approach is indeed an interesting story and we feel that more and more companies will be adopting it.
The approach is keeping the mainframe in our datacenter with the strategic applications that make sense, and moving the distributed infrastructure to cloud services (typically SaaS, PaaS or IaaS).
The distributed infrastructure in our datacenter was a bit of a hairball to maintain, and it was literally causing constraints to our development effort. Relative to distributed infrastructure, the mainframe was much easier to support. The final piece was connecting the mainframe directly with cloud services, primarily by utilizing RESTful APIs.
Our two platform IT configuration has afforded us a cohesive computing environment that allows us to focus on products instead of platforms. To learn more, read about our x86-less datacenter.
The Need for Mainframe Agility
During my talk I pointed out there continues to be the need to create and innovate, but from the onset of the digital age there is a greatly increased requirement to deliver innovation fast. The speed of development becomes critically important, as the first to come out with innovation typically has a tremendous advantage.
The good news is that mainframe development can happen as quickly as on any other platform. Speed of development is a process issue, not a technology or infrastructure limitation.
To compete in the digital age, the mainframe must be re-introduced as an Agile development platform. There is no reason it can’t be agile. At Compuware, we prove it every day: all our development is done with Agile-DevOps processes.
My advice to companies is don’t be convinced to develop software at a slower rate on the mainframe. Anything done slower, by definition, is a constraint.
Mainframes are something to be capitalized on. If properly leveraged, they are a tremendous advantage. They are also a resource many startup companies don’t have.
The Importance of SHARE-ing
Having the chance to share with a large audience the story of how Compuware is using two platform IT to improve its business was an honor, and I hope other companies begin to see how valuable this strategy could be for them.
If ever you’re asked to speak at SHARE, know that the SHARE representatives were very helpful and organized, and the event went off without a hitch. It’s important for us in this community to share our ideas with each other to keep the mainframe moving forward. It was an honor to be on stage with representatives from other major ISVs and IBM. Most importantly, the audience was very receptive and showed just how much passion and support for the mainframe is out there.