Organisations are being challenged by disruptors changing the dynamics of the market which they operate in, new technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence as turning established business models upside down all at a time when the traditional cost and competitive pressures seem more intense.

Over the last few years one constant in how to handle this change has been a shift to cloud computing as a model to not only increase flexibility and agility but also drive out cost.  Cloud has also been a driver to get organisations to return to core competencies.  A retailer is exactly that a retailer, not an IT provider, the same goes for Banking, Insurance, Government and every vertical sector.  The role of the modern CIO is not how do I build it? But rather, how do ensure the outcome is achieved by my cloud providers?

Against this industry backdrop over 4,000 people attended CA World 17 a couple of weeks back to hear about how CA technologies a software powerhouse is responding to these client challenges.  Another industry powerhouse, IBM was at CA World  as a top tier Diamond Sponsor.  On the surface these two organisations compete for software spend in clients, but that is a narrow view of the market in both organisations opinion.  Rather CA & IBM see themselves as collaborators who together can uniquely satisfy the requirements of their joint clients.

One example is in the mainframe space. A large majority of organisations rely on mainframe computers to run their applications and use traditional IT procurement models, wherein any and all requirements are carefully assessed and IT resources are determined, to refresh and replace equipment. A formal procurement process can take months or longer to prepare and execute. New or additional IT resources can take weeks or months to order, deliver, install and make “Ready for Use.” While trudging through this long process, windows of opportunity can be, and indeed are often missed. Moreover, far too many organisations are relying on mainframe hardware that is often reaching its end of life.

How IBM zCloud Bridges the Divide

To bridge this technology divide, IBM’s Mainframe-as-a-Service formally known as Cloud Managed Services on z Systems (or more commonly referred to as zCloud) delivers the flexibility, any enterprise, using a traditional IT procurement model would not have otherwise. With zCloud, organisations can use Operational rather than Capital Expense (OpEx vs. CapEx) to access the mainframe compute and storage resources required for normal operations. Enterprise mainframe IT infrastructure – compute, storage and networking – can be acquired on an as-needed basis. This allows an organisation to scale capacity to align with unique requirements. Further, IBM owns and pays for maintenance and upgrades to the mainframe infrastructure, which immediately translates to dramatic cost- and risk-avoidance. zCloud permits enterprises to maintain and keep pace with the modernisation of mainframes while adapting to a more flexible and agile infrastructure in a cloud-based financial model.

Once the zCloud contract is in place, IBM’s comprehensive service catalog delineates mainframe capacity, functions and capabilities into simple and easily orderable service items, which can be used to quickly ramp up mainframe capacity to meet unique requirements. Incremental changes can easily be applied to match the true needs of an application. Both the IT and the procurement departments can avoid rushed acquisitions that often result in over-buying. Plus, 24/7/365 support is always on-hand.

zCloud not only provides the agility modern organisations require, but also gives mainframe clients the freedom and flexibility to leverage leading edge technology approaches. For example, organisations can utilize Linux on the mainframe to consolidate distributed servers that have been rampantly multiplying, enhance IT reliability and even take advantage of cloud computing safely.

In summary the benefits of a move to zCloud include:

  • zCloud enables an organisation to transform its mainframe costs from a capital budget expense into an operational expense.
  • An as-a-Service model allows an organisation to accurately forecast operational expenses and effectively manage the mainframe budget.
  • zCloud reduces the headaches of mainframe infrastructure upgrades, hardware maintenance costs, support services and negotiations with OEM vendors for hardware maintenance.
  • zCloud customers benefit from IBM’s highly trained workforce – a real advantage for organisations facing the retirement of workers with mainframe skills.
  • Organisations can reposition their mainframe in an as-a-Service cloud platform to meet the provisions of the “Cloud First” mandate. Service offerings can be provisioned either on premises or off-premises in any data center hosting facility.

CA and zCloud

CA has partnered with IBM at all levels of zCloud, whether it comes to how IBM’s delivery teams are trained on CA technologies, or how CA software is deployed within zCloud to help both in the transition and transformation phase as well as steady state but more importantly in the pricing model.  CA is uniquely offering zCloud clients the ability to license CA’s tools in a true consumption model, where pricing flexes up and down with business requirmeents.  For more info from CA on how they support zCloud click here.

So, if your organisation is struggling with obsolete technology and reduced resources, you don’t need to wait until you can replace your legacy systems. Schedule a consultation with an expert here to ask questions about zCloud.