How to Improve Mainframe Performance and Reduce Monthly Costs With Software Asset Management

Whether due to redundant applications, archaic licenses, or outdated contracts, chances are that your z/OS environment is being bogged down by superfluous software. After years of operation, it’s not uncommon for a mainframe system to suffer from software attrition, and a time naturally comes when you need to cut the fat.

Software Urbanism is a methodology designed to ensure that all software installed within your IT infrastructure brings the most added value possible. It is like Spring cleaning for your mainframe, but in addition to a cleaner environment, users benefit from significant performance improvements and cost reductions.

Software Asset Management (SAM) is important for combating the following mainframe performance deterrents:

  • Redundant software that covers the same needs
  • Outdated software that has lost its efficacy
  • Overdue or expired contracts that remain installed
  • Paying a contract despite receiving no value from installed software
  • Software stagnation

Simply put: without Software Urbanism you run the risk of high MLC costs, wasted resources, and sluggish LPAR performance.

What is SAM?

SAM — a system evaluation used to identify software bottlenecks — consists of various steps:

  • Create an inventory of current software
  • Analyze how each addresses a specific business need
  • Map out software connections to external applications
  • Assess the viability of each software compared to its relative cost

With the information gathered during software evaluation, IT can better understand their working environment and remedy mainframe inefficiencies accordingly.

The value of SAM for mainframe management

SAM is not a concept exclusive to mainframe management, but it does have specific utility within this field. Mainframe activity usually accounts for upward of 30 percent of a company’s software costs, so it is particularly important to exercise proactive cost control.

Software Urbanism is a great way to reduce costs without compromising system performance. This process offers an invaluable win/win: SAM consolidates computing workloads and localizes software, resulting in greater mainframe performance at a lower price point.

The challenges of Software Urbanism

It’s clear SAM can significantly improve your z/OS environment, but are there any downsides to a software audit? There are a few speed bumps to keep in mind when on the road to Software Urbanism:

  • A Software Urbanism project takes awhile, and you should not expect to complete it in less than 6 months.
  • Cooperation among everyone involved with mainframe activities is required.
  • It’s a complex process that requires dedicated tasks and resources.
  • Infrastructure inventory has to be as exhaustive as possible, yet it can be hard to track diverted software.
  • All information gathered around business needs requires verification and cross-checking to confirm accuracy.

No matter how you decide to undertake a software assessment, just remember: it won’t be easy, but it is worth it. Although the perfect system configuration doesn’t exist, your best way option is to study your z/OS environment. Getting to know the individual utility of each software contract is the first step toward improving mainframe cost control and system performance.

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