Mobile application development unaligned with mainframe legacy

New research has revealed that inefficient interaction between new mobile technologies and mainframe computing centres is exacerbating business IT problems and potentially adding costs.

The results of a recent survey conducted by Compuware Corporation show that the use of mobile technology in business is increasing the complexity, usage and costs of mainframe applications. As a result, companies are finding it more difficult to isolate and fix problems.

The survey result challenge technology hype around the benefits of mobile applications in delivering distributed computing power and connectivity to users – whether they be sales personnel on the road, at a customer’s premises, or operations staff moving around and between manufacturing facilities.

The Compuware survey found that typically 54% of enterprise applications in the manufacturing industry will call upon the mainframe to complete transactions, yet the majority of distributed application developers today have limited understanding of the mainframe.

Furthermore, nearly 90% of CIOs in the manufacturing industry said that they were using outdated transaction monitoring practices which fail to provide adequate visibility into how distributed and mainframe applications interact.

Meanwhile, IT staff in many organisations are spending needless time in ‘war rooms’ trying to resolve complex application issues that they can’t see, increasing the likelihood that if problems persisted, brand reputations – and bottom lines – will suffer.

Consequently, 71% of manufacturing industry CIOs believe that a lack of knowledge is leading to inefficient mainframe access.

Commenting on the survey findings Kris Manery, senior vice president and general manager for mainframe solutions at Compuware observes: “The survey results paint a picture of what IT departments have to cope with on a day‑to‑day basis.

“The findings showed that more than half of manufacturers’ customer‑facing and business‑critical applications are dependent on the mainframe. At the same time, 73% of manufacturing-industry CIOs felt distributed application developers were unaware of the impact they have on the mainframe environment.”

Mr Manery says that this is cause for concern as a poorly optimised applications interacting with the mainframe will drive up MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) costs unnecessarily.

“Those costs could be drastically reduced if developers had visibility into how their code was impacting the mainframe,” he concluded.