Mainframe 2020: A catalyst for transformation


Mainframe 2020: A catalyst for transformation

Far from a throwback to another era, mainframe technology is giving the financial sector the tools to win in the digital age.


When it comes to supporting DevOps initiatives, mainframe technology—introduced in the early 1950s—isn’t likely to be the first to come to mind.

This content was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.

Yet combining the processing power of mainframe computing with one of today’s leading software development techniques is precisely how mutual insurer State Farm readied itself for rapid change and increasing customer demands. The company has integrated new DevOps tools into its IBM Z servers and adopted new practices to achieve optimal performance.

By combining DevOps, which bridges the divide between developers and IT operations, with the power and scalability of the mainframe, State Farm is speeding up the development and delivery of essential applications. For example, it shortened the time it takes to test new versions of its claims system, which lets insurance agents handle claims anywhere in North America, from two months to two weeks. “We strive to deploy solutions at a very fast pace to meet digital transformation needs,” says Krupal Swami, State Farm’s technology and architecture director.

State Farm isn’t the only financial institution relying on the mainframe for greater speed, innovation, and agility. For many of today’s financial institutions, embracing innovative tools and agile approaches is more than smart strategy—it’s a means for survival. Customers now expect personalized experiences that cater to their banking preferences and anticipate their unique needs. Nimble and innovative competitors, including fintechs and digital banks, are redefining the sector. More organizations are moving to the cloud, expanding the security threat landscape. And fast-advancing technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, are requiring financial institutions to operate with unprecedented speed and scale.

Mainframe 2020: A catalyst for transformation

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