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Chris O

Chris O'Malley

President and CEO of Compuware

Compuware Corporation

With 30-plus years of IT experience, Chris O'Malley has led Compuware's transformation into becoming the "mainframe partner for the next 50 years.

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Today’s most competitive companies leverage their digital prowess to continuously turn creative ideas into targeted deliverables of superior quality, creating compelling, real-time customer experiences.

These innovations often take the form of attention-garnering web and mobile applications that make services faster and more accessible, but they are highly dependent on mainframe data and processes.

The mainframe manages most of the back-end transaction processing that front-end, user-performed functions generate. And when the mainframe lags behind the technologies of engagement it supports, it severely impacts the customer experience, regardless of how sleek a front-end application is.

While the mainframe is the most powerful, reliable and securable platform in the enterprise, most mainframe teams are hamstrung by outdated cultures, processes and tools, hindering their ability to update and release mainframe code quickly enough to improve the customer experience in demonstrable ways. Stifled cultures and arcane processes and tools are also a huge turnoff for inspired DevOps artisans who are keen on unleashing their major creative power.

Modernization Approaches
Enterprises have three choices when it comes to their mainframes. The first two are detrimental to digital success: keep the mainframe a black box that becomes slower and more complex and impedes innovation, or execute risky, time-consuming and costly “rip, rewrite, replace” application migrations.

The third and rational approach that will save enterprises from digital irrelevance is to mainstream the mainframe by modernizing the culture, processes and tools surrounding the platform.

To do that, enterprises must:
  • Adopt modern, graphical and intuitive development, testing and source code management tools that empower mainframe-inexperienced IT professionals and next-generation developers to work with and intimately understand your mainframe applications and data so as not to compromise quality.
  • Adopt cross-platform DevOps tools and processes that break down silos and make it easy for multiple developers working on multiple application pieces to quickly build and deploy their code.
  • Move toward automated release management across mainframe and non-mainframe environments to quickly, reliably and frequently deliver new capabilities.
Enterprise leaders must understand that mainframe code is valuable, proprietary intellectual property that must be leveraged and updated more often and more quickly than ever. If you’re one of those leaders, it’s time to own your company’s mainframe transformation.