IDC Finds the Mainframe Moving Beyond Just Relevant in Australia and New Zealand 

Sydney, Australia, July 25, 2011. The to and fro in recent years over whether the mainframe will meet its demise has now fundamentally changed in the Australia/New Zealand (A/NZ) region with the platform's recent results defying doomsayers predictions.

IDC's recently released The Mainframe in Australia and New Zealand: Beyond Staying Relevant (Doc #AU8627731T) shows that from October 2010 to the end of March 2011, mainframe vendors in Australia exceeded their highest yearly revenues in just six months to more than $115m and in New Zealand a similar pattern is evident.

"Given enterprise imperatives around security, scalability, and reliability the mainframe remains a highly relevant and viable option for large enterprise organisations in the A/NZ region," says IDC senior analyst, Trevor Clarke. "It is not a platform for all organisations but will continue to be a bastion for highly critical workloads."

IDC's research shows that while server virtualisation on x86 server platforms is a juggernaut growth area, the complex instruction set computer (CISC) server category has turned around its recent dismal fortunes.

"The mainframe is at an interesting juncture and its continued success will depend on greenfield customer sites installing the technology." said Matt Oostveen, associate director at IDC. "These customers will likely come from the mid-market, and be spurred on by the capability to use the superior management and automation of the mainframe to run Windows and Linux environments more effectively than current virtualised x86 environments."

"It is unlikely the perceptions around the demise of the mainframe will disappear anytime soon. Indeed it is likely this view will continue to be peddled by many in the market, despite the recent success of the platform," said Matt Oostveen. "The task at hand for vendors and service providers already in the mainframe game is to drive perception change in the market to reflect the reality that the mainframe will continue to be a cornerstone of enterprise computing and actually has a positive outlook."

IDC believes the immediate opportunity for the mainframe platform in A/NZ is around migrating additional workloads in existing clients to the most recent versions such as IBM's zEnterprise and Unisys' ClearPath range. Some of these additional workloads will be database consolidation, data warehousing, and Web workloads.

"Mainframe vendors will continue to face significant challenges, including the ongoing requirements to ensure availability of a skilled workforce and the fostering of market opportunities in the face of other more agile server platform vendors that currently maintain an advantage," said Clarke.

The recently published report, The Mainframe in Australia and New Zealand: Beyond Staying Relevant (July 2011 Doc #AU8627731T) is an analysis of the mainframe's performance in the A/NZ region and presents IDC's views on the platforms future outlook.

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