Developing an Effective IBM Z Technology Planning Strategy
IBM Executive Architect and Chief Engineer Jim Zell on the importance of comprehensive mainframe modernization planning
By Jim Zell04/12/2021
It’s important to account for all that the IBM Z platform can do for your organization as you build your corporate technology plan. Whether your goals are modernization, cost reduction or something else entirely, planning must be comprehensive and account for all of the technology you have and the opportunity it provides.
Defining Mainframe Modernization
To some organizations, modernization means moving off the IBM Z platform. Often, other options are not even investigated. It’s assumed that to modernize you must discard the platform entirely. Those of us who work with IBM Z daily know that mainframe modernization means something entirely different. Of course, this is just perspective, but if you’re the one tasked with planning your corporation’s technology future, you should arm yourself with enough information about the platform to make good decisions.
The reasons to modernize can vary. The underlying issue is that other problems that need solving are lumped into the word “modernize.” You really need to delve into the details of what you want to accomplish when you modernize. For example, do you need to:
- Remove the potential disaster of your support staff all retiring on the same day?
- Take advantage of containerization?
- Increase your system uptime to create a better user experience?
- Provide your developers with the latest tooling and move toward an agile, DevOps environment across the enterprise?
3 Factors to Consider When Developing Your Modernization StrategyYou want to modernize? Great! If you can tell me exactly what that means, then you’re on the right road to building a comprehensive plan. Consider these three factors as you develop your big-picture modernization strategy:
- Workforce Planning
- Containers, APIs and DevOps
Making a Technology PlanIn short, it’s important to solve your technology planning systematically and comprehensively. Examine each problem in its lowest terms and all of the options you have available. Some modernization options may not be what they seem at face value—and when you consider the big picture, you’ll find that the IBM Z platform is often a key component of an effective modernization plan.
Jim Zell is an IBM Chief Engineer and executive architect.
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