Mainframe Blog

Spring Cleaning your Mainframe Costs

3 minute read
Stephanie Grubbs

The nice weather is finally here, and it’s time for a little “spring cleaning.” If you’re like me, you may notice that some of your chores have been woefully neglected (dusting anyone?). As I begin dusting baseboards and ceiling fans, I think (between sneezes) about how this would be much easier if I kept up with it on a regular basis. Unlike dusting, some chores like washing the dishes or doing laundry are part of my daily or weekly schedule. Stay with me while I make a leap here, but does this sound a little bit like your mainframe? Certain tasks are part of your standard weekly practice and others, including managing the costs on your mainframe, are performed infrequently, only once a year. Instead, by monitoring your costs daily as part of a routine you could help keep costs under control and ensure your savings increase exponentially over time.

The Aberdeen Group has created a 5-step checklist to help you develop an effective mainframe cost management approach. The last step, “Improve Daily Decision Making — MLC management isn’t something you do once” is an important one to remember. If you only monitor and manage your costs once a year, your costs can spiral out of control, much like the dust mites behind my couch. A solution that provides cost transparency into your mainframe environment can help you actively analyze and optimize key cost drivers daily, helping you head off problems before they snowball. A solution like BMC Cost Analyzer will help to identify workloads running in your peak, as well as workloads running in your second and third peaks, to ensure you can optimize your system overall. Your environment is constantly changing and adapting, so a one-time cost savings solution won’t cut it! Cost management is an ongoing process, not a one-time event.

David Wilson, mainframe cost optimization expert from SZS Consulting, has said, “When you run Cost Analyzer, dollars fall out of the keyboard. Every time you run it, you find opportunity to reduce cost.” This is certainly the case for a current customer who uses Cost Analyzer to optimize their environment and track spend daily. Recently, they avoided a huge MLC bill using Cost Analyzer by:

  • Observing a 17% spike in MSUs
  • Quickly investigating the cause of the issue
  • Requesting an exclude with IBM straightaway
  • Resulting in savings over $10,000 for the month

This customer saved countless man-hours and headaches by identifying and understanding the issue early, instead of trying to reconcile a very expensive bill received over a month later. They also saved over $10,000 by drilling into the workloads that were causing the spike and taking immediate action.

By using Cost Analyzer and the other steps mentioned in the checklist above, you can save money continuously. Think about what you could do with the compounded savings you’re gaining day over day. The Aberdeen Group has also created an e-book to discuss the opportunities you have to drive innovation and transformation on your mainframe with these cost savings:

“With comprehensive mainframe cost management solutions in place, organizations can lower mainframe software license costs and free the power of their mainframes to drive new applications and services, while improving their ability to digitally transform their business.”

Every dollar you spend on MLC is a missed opportunity to spend elsewhere. Your cost savings could be directed towards driving transformation on your mainframe, investing in innovation to the mainframe, or simply towards reducing your company’s expenses. In all cases, you are helping the business achieve its objectives and demonstrating the value your mainframe brings to the business. Start with the checklist and e-book from the Aberdeen Group and set up your cost savings strategy today. Then start thinking about what you could do with those additional cost savings. I’d probably invest in a weekly dusting service.

Access the 2023 Mainframe Report

The results of the 18th annual BMC Mainframe Survey are in, and the state of the mainframe remains strong. Overall perception of the mainframe is positive, as is the outlook for future growth on the platform, with workloads growing and investment in new technologies and processes increasing.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Stephanie Grubbs

Stephanie Grubbs is a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager on the Strategic Marketing Team. She has worked as a Solutions Marketing Manager for BMC's mainframe cost optimization offerings prior to this. Stephanie has over 9 years of experience in software consulting, program management, and marketing.