6 Eye-Openers Every Tech Exec Should Know About the Mainframe

November 29, 2023

The world moves fast. Business and technology can change overnight–but there are certainly staple technologies that have remained constant over time. While this may not be news to you, not everyone recognizes that the “iron” that powers world economies, big business, and leading governments in the digital roads of modern society still leads to a mainframe.

Whether your customers or stakeholders realize it or not, the mainframe dominates virtually all high-volume transactions involving banking, shopping, travel, shipping, science, and sensitive corporate, healthcare, and government data. It’s why 70% of Fortune 500 companies use mainframes every second of every day. 

With this in mind, here are six eye-openers that might surprise everyone else about today’s mainframe:

  1. Top performing companies use 10% more mainframe. Truth be told, these same companies use 10% more cloud too, when compared to their lower performing competitors, according to a new Rubin Worldwide report on the tech stacks of leading brands. The point is, winning companies use hybrid architectures to grow their business, and mainframe is a critical partner with cloud in that growth.

  2. Doubling mainframe capacity lowers compute cost by 60%. A big reason top companies use more mainframe is because it’s the most efficient, secure, and economical platform. As these companies have found, the more you use mainframe, the more you save–up to 60% in per unit compute costs.

  3. Mainframes account for 72% of IT  workloads but only 8% of total IT costs. You read that right. Mainframe processes the majority of life’s digital transactions while costing less than a 10th of all other technologies and platforms combined. That’s why it’s the premier platform and delivers the best experience when reliably handling trillions of digital transactions every second.

  4. Migrating from mainframe to cloud can cost 5x more. Some companies are going all-in on public cloud alone to grow their business. But those who move everything to the cloud will pay the price. Up to 5x more, in fact, when offloading mainframe apps to the cloud. This is why top performers are investing in both, and deploying workloads on the best platform for the job.

  5. Mainframes use 75% less floor space and 40% less power than distributed servers. Today’s mainframes are much smaller than the past  machines. Now merely the size of a standard 19" rack, the latest mainframe requires 75% less floor space than x86 alternatives trying to run the same workloads. What’s more, the mainframe does all that with 40% less power consumption, making it the industry’s most energy-efficient sustainable powerhouse.

  6. 86% of mainframe executives get the talent they need. The so-called mainframe skills gap has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, finding mainframe talent can be a challenge. But it’s mostly a perception problem. In fact, the vast majority of executives say they are capable of acquiring the necessary talent to run their mainframe operations. Broadcom’s homegrown efforts to raise the next generation of mainframers is a big part of that.

At Broadcom Mainframe Software, we believe the platform, coupled with the right tools, will process, secure, and store an even greater share of tomorrow’s most important transactions. It will support billions more users, terabytes of data, and more complex digital experiences across all industries.  

Until then, what other surprising mainframe facts do you wish the world knew about?