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Blog > November 2020 > 5 DevOps Strategies for the Mainframe

5 DevOps Strategies for the Mainframe

DevOps and Agile are often seen as staples of digital transformation. Both improve collaboration, break down silos and enable rapid, incremental software delivery. Most forward thinkers would agree that these elements are needed to survive and thrive in today’s fast-moving, ever-changing digital economy. Yet when we look at adoption, it is mostly startups and some progressive-minded industry incumbents leveraging DevOps. In turn, many established, legacy enterprises have been slow to adopt these practices, perpetuating the myth that DevOps is reserved for smaller, nimble disruptors.

This myth – and yes, it is exactly that – is coupled with another, related misconception: that organizations can’t. However, the fact of the matter is that DevOps is not exclusive to a technology or function. DevOps is people-centric, not technology-centric – it is a cultural shift that introduces new methods of work, and it can be applied to any technology environment, including mainframe

In fact, the DevOps approach is used to create, innovate and extend applications across mainframe, mobile, online SaaS and web, and other systems. And because mainframe technologies – even those created decades ago – are still underpinning many businesses’ operations today, they should benefit from the best methodologies (like DevOps) and the brightest talent. ASG recently collaborated with Accelerated Strategies Group to release an eBook on this topic, 5 Crucial DevOps Strategies for Cloud and Mainframe.

Read the eBook


Here are a few top takeaways to help make DevOps feasible for your organization.

  1. Understand Why DevOps Matters
Organizations must clearly understand why they are bringing DevOps to the organization. The “whys” of DevOps adoption should be tied to business and digital transformation strategies – from responding to market pressure and competition, to increasing agility and resilience in the face of disruption. The why can also exist on an organizational scale, too, such as wanting more operational efficiency or to attract and retain software mainframe talent.
  1. Change Your Culture

DevOps breaks down organizational silos to facilitate greater collaboration across departments. This collaboration requires organizations to rethink when and where work is done. To be clear, the goal is not to reduce staff, but rather to elevate workers in their roles. Shifting to a DevOps culture usually eliminates information hoarding and “turf wars,” which benefits the organization immensely.

  1. Focus on People First

Mainframe software teams can benefit from other teams’ existing DevOps experiences. In fact, mainframe application leaders and teams should reach out to DevOps leaders, teams and practitioners within the organization as they begin developing a DevOps adoption plan. It’s important to remember that DevOps is all about people and how they work; the technology stack is secondary. When you’re choosing a starting point, it’s helpful to identify groups and/or individuals already interested in adopting DevOps. That person, or those people, become champions for progress.

  1. Measure Your Progress

Organizations should create software delivery goals and measurements that are aligned with the most relevant business goals and KPIs. For example, if the emphasis is increasing business agility, IT leaders should create measurements that incentivize rapid response, automation and experimentation. Software teams may create higher quality, less brittle software and have to fail fast when the underlying business conditions change rapidly.

  1. Strive for Continuous Improvement

DevOps is centered on the principle of continuous improvement. IT teams must continue applying learnings, processes and tools that improve the effectiveness of DevOps and software delivery. It doesn’t have to be a formal methodology, but it should be a pillar of the culture.

DevOps should – and must – be applied to the mainframe. Mainframe is an essential staple of most IT ecosystemswhich most new applications still rely on, so organizations will only benefit from adopting DevOps.

To learn more about applying DevOps to the mainframe, download the full eBook, 5 Crucial DevOps Strategies for Cloud and Mainframe. You can also keep the mainframe-DevOps conversation going by listening to our video podcast with Accelerated Strategies Group or reading this blog here.

Posted: 11/3/2020 8:00:00 AM by Mike Siemasz - Product Marketing Manager
Filed under :automation, DevOps, mainframe