Seven Benefits of Integrating Mainframe Operations Deeper into DevOps

As mainframe development teams have moved towards DevOps, there has been a large focus on pushing functionality through the deployment pipeline—and not enough focus on how to properly include mainframe operations teams.

Whether development teams have forced DevOps on their mainframe operations colleagues or excluded them from the transformation process, DevOps and new organizational goals for agility have left a bad taste in the mouths of many ops pros.

But the reality is, DevOps can’t exist without mainframe operations, and organizations need to figure out how to properly include them. Learn how in an upcoming eBook. For now, here are some of the benefits organizations experience when they do a better job of including mainframe operations teams in DevOps.

1. Collaborative Culture

DevOps can break down the wall between mainframe operations and development teams to encourage collaboration at each phase of the development process and encourage supporting each other as each iteration becomes “live” in production. That empowers your organization to improve the quality, velocity and efficiency with which it releases mainframe-supported digital innovation to customers.

2. Better Production Performance

Operations knows much more about the ways code can impede performance. When performance is considered at every phase of the development cycle, you can quickly determine earlier the impact of coding choices and ensure production performance will not be a concern. Another benefit of capturing performance issues earlier in the cycle is that it’s less costly to fix these items as the code is being developed than waiting until it has been deployed to production.

3. Better Continuous Learning

By inviting mainframe operations people to daily development standups, sprint reviews and planning meetings, they can hear what Development is currently working on and see what is coming down the pipeline—and they can provide their feedback.

Developers can learn from mainframe operations colleagues because they understand performance, scalability and deployment better than anyone. On the other hand, mainframe operations teams can learn things from developers, like how to automate deployments for their test and production environments and, with that, lower the amount of work they have to do for each new test or production deployment.

4. Shorter Feedback Loops

Development teams need to understand the importance of maintaining performance quality as they strive to increase velocity and efficiency. Bringing mainframe operations closer to development will allow them to shorten the feedback loop used to share data that highlights the performance behavior of applications.

5. Better Testing

Closer collaboration between mainframe operations and development teams ensures tests can be executed either in production or in a staged environment that mirrors production. Executing these tests in collaboration allows the two teams to become more confident when releasing a new version and helps with proper capacity planning steps. It also educates developers in what works best in making coding choices when they are actively involved in the testing.

6. Common Tools

Working closely allows mainframe operations and development teams to agree on tools to measure the performance and scalability of new features as well as tools to collect diagnostics information or information requested by the business to measure success. Sharing these tools across all teams increases acceptance of the measured value and improves collaboration when results can easily be shared.

7. Shared Metrics

We can only measure progress, success, and failures if we have facts. In our world we talk about measurements that tell us more about the quality of work and the impact it has on other teams.  These measurements are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that should be tracked as part of any DevOps process.

The percentage of programs employing code coverage, for example, is an interesting metric for developers because it tells them how good their test coverage is. It’s also a good indicator for mainframe operations teams, as they can be more confident if code coverage is at least as high as the recent successful deployment.

Measuring and communicating metrics across all mainframe operations and development teams is key to avoiding problems early on because it helps teams understand the impact of their work on other teams’ objectives—but also gives them confidence that the work done by other teams allows them to achieve their goals.

Anything that prevents mainframe operations teams from joining the DevOps initiative is a detriment to the organization. You need to make the effort to include them in all phases of the development cycle—and when you do, your organization will begin to experience these and many other benefits that help it improve its standing as a competitive leader in its space.

To learn more about the benefits of DevOps, read our eBook “How to Ditch Waterfall for DevOps on the Mainframe.”

Read the eBook

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