Cutting Mainframe Costs: Top 10 Management Practices
Cutting Mainframe Costs: Top 10 Management Practices
by Darryl K. Taft
Reduce Software Costs
IT organizations have a plethora of software tools, with significant redundancy. In many cases, these tools are unused, under-utilized and even outdated. A good software value management discipline can help optimize software expenses and extract efficiencies across the software asset stack. Compuwares value office offering can help an organization learn if they are fully leveraging their software assets, getting the most for their investment.
Delay CPU Upgrades and Reduce MIPS Growth
Many IT organizations rely on CPU upgrades (mips) to meet their applications scalability needs rather than looking for innovative ways to optimize their capacity. A mature performance and capacity management process can help contain or delay costly mips growth by identifying problem areas, locating performance bottlenecks and maximizing overall capacity utilization. Optimizing databases and data volumes and tighter application performance management improves efficiency and reduces the need for additional mips. This transfers to direct savings to the organization.
Reduce Transaction Costs
Companies are looking for ways to do more with less. For financial services and retail businesses, for example, that process millions of transactions a day, higher computing costs means higher transaction processing costs. Steady focus on the efficiency of the computing fabric can directly translate to reductions in per-transaction costs.
Reduce Consumption-Based Outsourcing Bills
Data center outsourcing is typically based on computing capacity and in the case of Mainframes the billing is tied to mips utilized. The fewer mips deployed on the floor, the lower the cost of hosting the infrastructure, and the greater the savings. Tighter control over mips growth and the ability to improve the efficiency of the installed capacity base will further improve economics of outsourcing endeavors.
Enable and Sustain Outsourcing Savings
Many organizations that embark on outsourcing as their primacy cost savings initiative soon realize the difficulty in maintaining those initial savings. The sustenance of the cost advantages requires strict process discipline around quality assurance and performance management.
Reduce Production Problem Costs
IT organizations have a certain number of transactions to accomplish every day. A failure to do so affects both the IT organizations service level agreements and the goals of the business. To avoid these impacts, these organizations must make sure their programs are resilient and robust to minimize faults by using a mainframe application failure resolution solution, such as Compuware Abend-AID.
Sustain Savings from Reduced Staff
Challenging economic times put tremendous pressure on IT staff levels. To ensure the reduced staffing level can continue to produce at the same level before any staff reduction, organizations need more effective mainframe tooling to increase productivity. Many people are transferrable and can work on many platforms. Successful IT organizations take advantage of this multiplatform knowledge with flexible team assignments and schedules.
Maximize Staff Productivity
As payroll is typically the largest IT budget item, ensuring maximum productivity of IT staff is critical to cost-effectively deliver business value. To reach maximum productivity levels, IT management needs to provide their staff with tools that provide automation and ease-of-use. With the retirement of the baby boomers, the demographics of the mainframe work force are changing. The new IT organization has a mix of people—a multigenerational work force—with varied needs and talents. By accommodating those needs with new mainframe interfaces and a more intuitive working environment, organizations can reduce the learning curve and avoid downtime costs.
Mitigate Costs of Insider Data Security Breaches
Data breaches can be very costly for an organization. From the cost of notifying customers to legal penalties and fines, an internal data breach can be devastating. To avoid an insider data breach, IT organizations need to identify the data to be controlled, implement tight data control policies, utilize tools which monitor data access and thoroughly train the IT staff on company data control policies and procedures. Organizations using live customer data in non-production environments (development, testing, training, etc.) create unnecessary data security risks as these environments typically dont have the same controls as production. Utilizing a data masking process such as Compuware Test Data Privacy eliminates costly data security breaches.
Enable Technology Adoption Savings
Organizations can further realize productivity gains by leveraging technological innovations in the mainframe space. Adoption of ubiquitous standards such as Eclipse can significantly improve people productivity while deployment of specialty processors such as zIIP/zAAP processors for non-traditional workloads can optimize mainframe computing cost structure. zIIP is the IBM System z Integrated Information Processor and zAAP is the System z Application Assist Processor.