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Open Mainframe Project 2020 Predictions: New Capabilities and Momentum for Mainframes in 2020

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Open Mainframe Project Experts

New Capabilities and Momentum for Mainframes in 2020 - Insights from 4 Mainframe Experts

Mainframes are a re-emerging platform which continue to be critical to our society. The speed, power, and security of Big Iron provides critical advantages to a wide range of industries. What sorts of new capabilities and new uses will we see in 2020? Open source is key to growth on the platform, and the Open Mainframe Project is the center of gravity for open source collaboration and innovation. We talked with four experts from the Open Mainframe Project to get an up close look at the space.

Rick Perret, Head of Marketing Communications, Broadcom Mainframe Division

Rick Perret 

"Organizations are leveraging digital capabilities to improve the customer experience to gain a competitive advantage.  As a result, IT departments are investing in new capabilities that streamline the integration of data and processes in today's hybrid environments.  Mainframes are a rich source of customer data and core customer applications.  In fact, organizations investing in the mainframe to transform their business are seeing a 6X return on their investment.

Recent developments in open frameworks such as Open Mainframe Project's Zowe and Eclipse Che4z are making it easier to develop, test and interact with mainframe platform. Since then, a recent study showed nearly 20% of organizations are planning to use technologies like Zowe.

With the availability of enterprise-grade support for these open technologies, companies can be confident in deploying these tools within their hybrid cloud architectures."

Steven Dickens, Worldwide Sales Leader, LinuxONE, IBM and Chair of Open Mainframe Project's Marketing Committee

Steven Dickens 

"2020 will be a big year for the Mainframe, as clients move to chapter 2 of their cloud journey and increasingly embrace hybrid cloud models I predict the mainframe will move to the front of their thought processes.  As Kubernetes and containerized workloads become the norm for enterprise IT the decision process will move to where best to run these workloads.  With the mainframe platforms continued focus on performance, availability and most importantly security it is a natural platform choice for the most demanding workloads in an enterprise.  These core characteristics coupled with the compelling total cost of ownership case that can be built around enterprise workloads all bode well for the platform in 2020. 

The other key dynamic for the mainframe in 2020 is the explosion of Open Source development being driven by the community.  Regardless of whether it's in the z/OS or Linux space the sheer scale and pace of open source development is on a level never seen on the platform.  This is both exciting and dynamic for clients as they look to build long term investment strategies, but over the position is universally positive."

Tim Willging, Distinguished Engineer, Database Tools Architect & Strategist, Rocket Software

"When it comes to technology it can be difficult to predict the future, but one thing we know about 2020 is that IBM Z will still be the dominant platform for mission-critical workloads. How can I say this with confidence? Because just about every bank, government, and major logistics company uses it to collect, store, and analyze their most valuable data - and that trend is only increasing. In my 20+ years of working on these systems, I've seen many alternatives proposed and attempted, but Z still leads the way because there is no better platform to get the job done.

In fact, it's easy to predict that usage will actually increase over the next 12 months thanks to modernization and security improvements that make it possible to drive real value for users, their partners, and end users.  Security is a top concern of many CIOs, and the z15's Data Privacy Passports provides the ability to comprehensively control and protect data throughout its lifecycle. I see many corporations in 2020 accelerating modernization initiatives that provide a much lower-cost alternative to rip and replace.  Zowe, Open Source, and DevOps practices will lead these modernization efforts and make IBM Z even more accessible and familiar to early career professionals and cost-effective to manage in a hybrid cloud environment."

Mike Friesenegger, Solution Architect, IBM Global Alliance, SUSE

Mike Friesenegger 

"Database consolidation as well as data encryption and compression are important differentiations for the IBM Z and LinuxONE platform. A new workload that will get significant attention in 2020 is the combination of containerized cloud native application deployment next to the data secured by the most reliable and safe server platform. SUSE, through the Open Mainframe Project, has contributed leadership and mentors to make Cloud Foundry based containerized development and deployment for the IBM Z and LinuxONE platform."


About the Open Mainframe Project

The Open Mainframe Project is intended to serve as a focal point for deployment and use of Linux and Open Source in a mainframe computing environment. With a vision of Open Source on the Mainframe as the standard for enterprise class systems and applications, the project's mission is to Build community and adoption of Open Source on the mainframe by eliminating barriers to Open Source adoption on the mainframe, demonstrating the value of the mainframe on technical and business levels, and strengthening collaboration points and resources for the community to thrive. Learn more about the project at

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Published Tuesday, December 31, 2019 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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