Staffing Shortages Threaten to Impair Mainframe App Efficiency

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Staffing Shortages Threaten to Impair Mainframe App Efficiency

Not only is the mainframe alive and well, it runs more than one-half of business-critical workloads for a majority of organizations that use mainframes today, according to a recent survey from Compuware and Forrester. However, the resulting report, titled “Modern Mainframe KPIs Are Key to a Successful Digital Strategy,” reveals that workforce shortages are creating efficiency and application quality-related issues here. If these problems are resolved, enterprises will be able to boost customer service while increasing speed to market. A total of 160 mainframe developers and decision-makers from the U.S. and Europe took part in the research. The following slide show presents key findings from the survey, with charts provided courtesy of Compuware and Forrester.

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Mainframe Tech Still 'Very' Much in Play

More than seven of 10 survey respondents said their customer-facing apps are either completely or “very” reliant on mainframe processing. “For those businesses using it,” according to the report, “mainframe forms the backbone of their digital customer interactions.”

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Mainframe Dependence Expected to Increase

Compuware and Forrester report that 57 percent of survey respondents said their organization runs more than one-half of its business-critical workloads on mainframes today. Nearly two-thirds anticipate doing so within a year from now.

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Employee Headcount on the Decline

On average, respondents said their company has lost 23 percent of its mainframe workforce in the last five years. Of that lost workforce, 63 percent have not been replaced.

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Workforce Shortages Hurt Efficiency

In ranking mainframe success drivers, 90 percent of respondents said the efficiency of the development team was either “extremely” or “very” important. But 42 percent said that the reduction of the mainframe workforce is making a “large” or “moderate” negative impact on this efficiency today.

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App Quality Suffering From Short-Staffed Teams

Application quality also ranked high as a mainframe success driver, as cited by 89 percent of respondents. However, 45 percent said reductions in mainframe staffing are making a “large” or “moderate” negative impact here too.

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Defect Volume Measurement Viewed as Top KPI

Nearly four of five respondents said it would be either “extremely” or “very” valuable to measure the number of defects as a key performance indicator (KPI) of their mainframe development process. An equal number said the same about measuring mean time to resolve defects.

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Organizations Seek to Measure Defect Detection Time

The report reveals that 78 percent of respondents consider the measurement of mean time to detect defects as an “extremely” or “very” valuable KPI of their mainframe development progress. Just over seven of 10 said the same about the measurement of total testing/process that is automated.

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Successful Efforts Provide Customer Service Boost

“Better customer experience” ranks as the top benefit of strong mainframe development, as cited by 59 percent of respondents. Just over one-half cited increased speed to market.

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Advantages Include Digital Demand Readiness

Nearly one-half of respondents said strong mainframe development leads to being “better able to respond to digital demands.” In addition, 42 percent said strong mainframe development improves alignment between IT and business users.

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