“Shortage of Mainframe developers is a serious concern for CIO’s in global organizations”, states an International Study into Mainframe usage in enterprises conducted by Compuware Corporation recently. Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company had earlier come up with the first phase of this survey at the end of last year. You can read the key findings in the first phase of the survey here.
Currently the second phase results of the survey say that the skills shortage will have a wider business impact in enterprises. Especially, at a time when 78% of the enterprise CIO’s believe that Mainframe will remain as a key business asset in global enterprises, over the next decade. The study also reveals that Mainframe remains a critical component of the wider IT infrastructure despite the prevalence of distributed computing. Vanson Bourne an independent research firm conducted the survey, on 520 CIO’s belonging to international Mainframe enterprises with over 1000 workforce. Enterprise CIO’s from UK, Germany, France, US, Italy, Australia, Japan and Benelux participated in the survey.
The Compuware Survey key findings
• About 56 % of CIOs’ are concerned over Mainframe developer shortage.
• More than half of the survey respondents expects increased application risk and reduced productivity due to Mainframe developer shortage.
• Seventy-eight percent of CIOs say the mainframe will remain a key business asset over the next decade.
• Forty-six percent of CIOs do not have plans in place to address mainframe developer shortages.
• Around 69 % of survey respondents believe that a lack of change in Mainframe environment is turning off fresh IT graduates from Mainframe development career.
• Seventy percent of CIOs agree that mainframe cost cutting will expose more risks in business than rewards.
• High acquisition costs (60 %), complex integration (54 %) and high training and implementation costs (45 %) are preventing businesses from modernizing their mainframe environment.
The survey reflects the current scenario of the Mainframe market. In a continuously evolving IT scenario, there is a serious challenge to do more with fewer resources in a critical field like Mainframe industry. Shortage of new Mainframe developers is yet another major concern surrounding the Mainframe industry now. Mainframe remains a less appealing platform for fresh IT graduates, based on a wrong consumption that this platform lacks changes and new developments with the current trends.
IT industry’s new technology upswings like cloud computing, mobile computing etc are putting their mark stronger in the recent years. The reflections of modernization with new trends are seen in the Mainframe industry too. This current situation demands more number of Mainframe programmers and other associated resources to satisfy the demand supply ratio. However, with the retirement of experienced Mainframe resources in enterprises, there is a skills shortage looming around the Mainframe industry. This will seriously affect and slow down the immense possibilities of modern Mainframe platform integrated with current IT trends. There is a critical need of addressing this issue in no time.
Effective Steps to address this skills shortage in a timely manner can lessen the impact of this issue in critical business environments where Mainframe plays a key role for several years. It is high time to introduce Mainframe training programmes, awareness programmes, contests etc globally along with addition of Mainframe syllabus in University curriculums. IBM’s academic initiatives and other major vendor initiatives to address this skills gap issue offer a ray of hope for Mainframe industry.
Let this small spark light up more and more number of lamps in the near future. Future appears to be bright and confident for Mainframe platform apart from this issue of skills shortage. Enterprise CIOs have to take key steps to find and nurture competent future Mainframe professionals to keep alive this critical platform for the next several decades.