IBM System z Mainframe Continues to Be an Engine of Progress

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-05-30 Print this article Print

This April, IBM celebrated the 50th anniversary of the IBM mainframe, highlighting new capabilities of today's mainframe that support modern conveniences. With more than 70 percent of enterprise data and 71 percent of all Fortune 500 companies' core businesses residing on a mainframe, IBM says it is looking ahead to another 50 years of mainframe computing as new applications for cloud, big data and mobile computing grow on this venerable computing platform. While the average consumer does not physically see or touch a mainframe like they do a PC or mobile device, the technology sparked a revolution in computing and business that still affects consumers on a daily basis. Powered by IBM's System z, some of these technology innovations are so big they've gone beyond changing the technology landscape—they've changed how we see the world. The IBM customers and thought leaders who drive these innovations are revolutionizing industries and pushing their competitors to do better. Mainframes, which IBM also refers to as "Engines of Progress," continue to deliver services in this mobile-first, cloud-first world in all geographies. This eWEEK slide show looks at how the mainframe remains relevant in today's world.

  • IBM System z Mainframe Continues to Be an Engine of Progress

    by Darryl K. Taft
    1 - IBM System z Mainframe Continues to Be an Engine of Progress
  • Business Connexion

    Developing areas of Africa lack energy infrastructure to support the data centers required for Internet services, resulting in fragmented access to services such as banking and education. However, using IBM mainframe technology, Business Connexion, an African managed service provider, is developing a "cloud-in-a-box" solution to help telcos bring the Internet to these previously untouched areas.
    2 - Business Connexion
  • First National Bank

    Seventy-three of the world's top 75 banks rely on the IBM mainframe to manage endless transactions, including First National Bank in South Africa. Recognized as the world's most innovative bank in 2012, FNB handles more than 158 million mobile transactions a month with an average end-to-end transaction response time of less than 30 milliseconds. These new mobile users expect fast service at all times, and the mainframe delivers.
    3 - First National Bank
  • Bank in a Box

    With its new mainframe-enabled mobile "bank-in-a-box" solutions, First National Bank is now delivering financial services over any channel and in near-real time—and helping Africans across the continent improve their quality of life.
    4 - Bank in a Box
  • The Met Office

    When severe weather conditions threaten, people all over the world look to U.K.-based Met Office for forecasts they can trust. Global industries count on the Met Office's forecasts to make better, faster decisions and keep business moving forward—and at the heart of those operations is a mainframe.
    5 - The Met Office
  • Managing the Unpredictable

    The mainframe can handle the unpredictable workload spikes severe weather can bring, processing and delivering critical forecast reports quickly and without error. The Met Office depends on the mainframe—which runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, collecting 10 million weather observations every day from around the world—to digest and translate that massive amount of data into critical forecast reports, enabling industries like aviation to use wind to their advantage and providing critical early warnings that help cities better prepare for natural disasters.
    6 - Managing the Unpredictable
  • Citibank and the Mainframe

    Former Chairman and CEO of Citicorp Walter Wriston once said, "Information about money is nearly as important as money itself." As the largest financial network in the world, connecting more than 200 million people in 160 countries, Citi relies on the mainframe to host and process this massive amount of data across industries. The mainframe underpins the systems Citi uses to deliver today's technology—around 150,000 transactions per second—keeping its customers ahead of information and providing more insight at the point of impact.
    7 - Citibank and the Mainframe
  • Visa Transactions and the Mainframe

    As one of the largest electronic payments networks, Visa connects merchants and customers to move 90 billion transactions annually that total nearly $7 trillion in payment volume. These transactions take place every second of every day in every corner of the world, and for the last 20 years, Visa has counted on the mainframe to deliver 100 percent availability—enabling innovation and commerce for billions of consumers.
    8 - Visa Transactions and the Mainframe
  • Walmart's Volume Retail

    Walmart, the world's largest retailer, serves 250 million people a week and has built an empire on one simple value: The customer always comes first. Walmart adopted mainframe technology in 1975 and still relies on the technology today to harness, analyze and process big data; enable cloud technology; and give customers access to the products the retailer sells.
    9 - Walmart's Volume Retail
  • Swiss Re Reinsurance Agency

    As a reinsurance agency, analyzing risk is core to Swiss Re's success. Swiss Re puts its expertise and knowledge to good use—helping companies and governments alike rebuild lives and create more resilient cities in the event of a natural disaster. Gaining insights from billions of transaction records can take days or weeks with traditional methods. To get the best results for its customers, Swiss Re needed a more powerful solution: a mainframe.
    10 - Swiss Re Reinsurance Agency
  • Faster Claims Processing

    With the IBM System z mainframe as its backbone, Swiss Re began to process reports and claims 70 percent faster—from days to less than an hour—which gave its users across all lines of business timely insights to make better decisions. Supporting more than 120 billion instructions per second, the mainframe helps Swiss Re enable companies and people to take on challenges they wouldn't have dared to in the past.
    11 - Faster Claims Processing
  • New York Municipalities' Shared Services & Cloud

    Inefficacy and government waste are enormous problems that affect all 1,600 local governments in the state of New York. Municipalities in New York spend about $8 billion on IT infrastructure and services. Based on prototypes and models for shared services and cloud computing, the mainframe can help reduce that number by at least 25 percent—allowing New York to deliver better citizen services with greater efficiency.
    12 - New York Municipalities' Shared Services & Cloud

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