‘Ultimate Virtualized System’ Key to Leveraging Trending Technologies

The amount of money IBM bet on the mainframe’s success—$5 billion—is the equivalent of $200 billion in today’s dollars.

It was a bet that paid off—big time. System z continues to be a dynamic force in driving future enterprise IT innovation, said Bryan Foley, IBM’s program director for System z strategy and Linux business line manager during his presentation at SHARE in Pittsburgh.

Statistics surrounding the mainframe’s continued relevance have been oft repeated as it celebrated its 50th anniversary this year—30 billion business transactions processed each day; home to 80 percent of the world’s corporate data; and $6 trillion in credit card payments processed annually.

But Foley’s main goal during the session was to look toward how current mainframe trends will shape its future.

Companies today seek a competitive advantage through cloud, analytics, mobile and social—but the underlying platform is what provides the differentiation to make it happen. System z offers unparalleled capacity and security.

“It’s the ultimate virtualized system,” Foley said. “You can throw all of your workload in, and it runs better as you do that.”

As analytics initiatives become more pervasive, the mainframe will deliver the availability, security and reliability necessary to reap the full value. Developers continue to build out the number of usable engines within the platform, expanding the capacity without compromising performance.

Companies that really change the paradigm are leveraging all those avenues—cloud delivery through mobile channels with analytics linked to social channels, Foley said.

“If you can help your company figure out how to do this together, that’s where the magic happens,” he said.

As part of this integration, more than 70 percent of companies plan to analyze transactional data from enterprise organizations to do things like detect fraud, create personalized offers and identify opportunities for cross selling.

Though traditionally companies have moved data from the mainframe to the analytics, the reverse is now trending. Customers are realizing, Foley said, the real cost of moving data elsewhere—and the value that can be found from Big Data.

“It’s really about taking all that you know and love from traditional sources, all the kind of data on systems of record, and merging that with unstructured data and actually doing something with it,” he said.

And through the evolution, IBM alone continues to devote more than $1 billion annually to System z initiatives.

“That dwarfs a lot of other company’s investment into anything,” Foley said.

As consumers of IBM's technology, we applaud IBM's continued investment in the mainframe platform, as we continue to leverage and invest in it. SHARE helps protect all companies' investment in the mainframe through best practices, peer-to-peer learning and industry influence. No longer just a bet, the mainframe is an investment in the future that’s worth its weight in gold.

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