Mainframe: Making powerful innovation possible

CA Southern Africa reveals how modern toolsets, agile and DevSecOps can increase your innovation velocity and enable the delivery of new mainframe services* to customers.

According to Dolf Snyman, CA Southern Africa Account Director, CA solutions support DevSecOps on the mainframe, empowering development teams to work across silos and use a common set of enterprise tools across the software delivery life cycle, from plan, build and test to deploy, operate and secure. “This drives improved software quality, faster time to market and increased developer productivity,” says Snyman.

He explains that while mainframes run a lot of businesses across the globe, this is not without challenges of which vendors are well aware. “Characteristically, most company teams take four to eight weeks to achieve small mainframe updates. Moreover, another issue is that 50% of those teams may be retiring within the next five years. The vendor community is immensely cognisant of these matters and, in response, has made agile and DevSecOps available in mainframe contexts.”

He adds the vision behind this is to make the mainframe no different than any other platform, giving enterprises the speed to market they need, cost savings plus the opportunity to cross-train their teams.

“CA solutions provide familiar toolsets, mobile to mainframe, so that mainframe is managed like any another platform. This allows businesses to plan, build, test, deploy, operate and secure applications and services across their hybrid IT environment.”

He adds customers adopting CA solutions to improve application quality and release frequency have achieved significant results. “For example, one global bank has built and automated a continuous integration and delivery pipeline to drive 2 000 deployments per month with less than a 2% incident rate. Furthermore, a telecommunications company achieved 150 deployments to production per month with zero back-outs.”

Snyman outlines a plan for mainframe success as follows:


  • Go agile: Get up to speed with agile methodology using SAFe methodology training and integrate agile requirements from open or proprietary tools into the mainframe tool of choice, such as CA Application Lifecycle Conductor and CA Endevor Software Change Manager.
  • Integrate mainframe: Managers can customise dashboards for one view of all software artefacts, their relationships and current status mobile-to-mainframe. With CA Application Lifecycle Conductor, business managers can improve governance, traceability and transparency of their mainframe code base.


  • Onboard quickly. CA provides options beyond the green screen to onboard new talent, including CA Development Environment for z Systems, a modern IDE with Eclipse plug-ins that integrate into testing tools. There are also innovations being previewed now for the building of a self-service, modern development experience in the cloud that will enable support for access to CA Endevor SCM via Git and more.
  • Simplify debugging: Visual debugging from CA Development Environment for z Systems allows developers to improve the speed and accuracy of their code in a test-first environment.


  • Improve effectiveness: CA solutions facilitate higher test effectiveness while also improving efficiency and costs. Quickly provision virtual test environments that emulate production for parallel development and testing with CA Service Virtualisation.

Automate execution

  • CA enables businesses to fully automate each phase of end-to-end testing. Use CA Agile Requirements Designer to create and update an optimal set of test cases and CA Application Lifecycle Conductor to then catalogue and provision test assets, including test cases, scripts, batch jobs, configurations and data, as well as virtual/real services. Paired with preferred application release automation solutions, such as CA Automic Release Automation, CA Application Lifecycle Conductor will also integrate and automate test scripts into the delivery pipeline and trace test assets to completion to monitor for issues.


  • Streamline releases: Enable zero-touch, sequential or parallel deployments, mobile to mainframe, for faster, more predictive delivery with CA Automic Release Automation 12.1.
  • Get quick feedback: Eliminate unnecessary wait times by using interactive and customisable dashboards in CA Application Lifecycle Conductor to get notifications of outages and issues across toolsets and customise continuous feedback loops that inform on deployment reliability and velocity.


  • Monitor performance and predict issues with CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence, performance issues can be predicted earlier and proactively corrected prior to impacting the business. This is a result of machine learning algorithms, which learn from numerous data sources, including SMF log records, and CA solutions such as CA SYSVIEW Performance Management, CA NetMaster Network, Management for TCP/IP, and CA Vantage Storage Resource Manager, which help to improve MTTR and SLA adherence.
  • Integration with best-in-breed automation solutions such as CA OPS/MVS.
  • Event management and automation – CA Automic One Automation Platform enables automated resolution of issues for optimum performance and resource efficiency.
  • Implement traditional single-pane-of-glass monitoring solutions such as CA Unified Infrastructure Management and CA Cross-Enterprise.
  • Application Performance Management also allows a broader set of IT staff to manage your mobile to mainframe services.

“All of the foregoing is why the business and technology world still loves the ‘big iron’. CA Southern Africa is committed to forging even deeper relationships with mainframe clients at all levels. This goes beyond products and technology – we will continue to partner in creative ways that support customer success,” concludes Snyman.

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