Monday, 2 February 2009

Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2009 user survey

The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2009 has been available for download free from for just over a week. During that time we have had lots of e-mails saying nice things about the Yearbook including: "Excellent work", "Arcati's Mainframe Yearbook is probably the best publication about IBM Mainframe at the moment", and "It is very useful". It is full of interesting stuff, but particularly interesting are the results of the user survey.

Respondents all completed a survey on the Arcati site between the 3 November 2008 and the 5 December 2008. 38% were from Europe and 43% from North America, with 16% from the rest of the world and 3% declining to respond.

50% of the respondents worked in companies with upwards of 10,000 employees worldwide, while 15% had 1001 to 5000 staff. 12% of respondents had 0-200 staff and 9% had 5001-10000. In terms of MIPS 46% of respondents (down from last year's 41%) had fewer than 1000 MIPS installed, 23% fell into the mid-sized category between 1000 and 10,000 MIPS, and 31% were at the high end.

Looking at MIPS growth produced some interesting results. Larger, more mature businesses (above 10,000 MIPS) were mostly experiencing some growth, but none were growing by more than 25%. Sites in the 500-10,000 MIPS range were typically experiencing growth in the 10-25% range. Sites below 500 MIPS were generally experiencing growth of less than 10%, but only two sites reported zero growth or negative growth. The mainframe market does appear to be quite fragmented with competitive pressures at the lower end of the mainframe market.

With the environment and environmental issues getting so much coverage in the media these days, the survey asked whether IBM's recent green initiatives on things like power consumption and cooling had made the mainframe more or less attractive. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said that IBM's green initiatives made no difference at all. No-one said that the initiative made the mainframe less attractive. 29% felt it made the mainframe a little more attractive, and 9% felt it made the mainframe a lot more attractive.

There are a huge number of other gems of information in the survey. A wake-up call in its conclusion states that it is essential that businesses understand where the [mainframe] system's real strengths lie, and how it can be integrated most effectively with other IT resources.

How true!

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