Today is an exciting day for IMS as part of the IBM Z family. The all new IBM z14 and our first ever IMS 15 Open Beta were announced on 17 July, 2017. Both have been designed to make data secure with pervasive encryption, to drive deeper insights with machine learning, and to increase agility by being open and connected to the enterprise cloud.

With the IMS 15 Open Beta, clients can access the latest beta version of IMS as a hosted cloud service. Without having to install any code, clients can log on and try out the new capabilities coming in IMS 15. Pre-GA code was previously available only through our Quality Partnership Program to a limited number of clients. We are excited to provide this open access and the ability to provide early feedback to all users of IMS.

IMS is evolving to take full advantage of the z14 pervasive encryption advances. This is important because while encrypting data at rest is a critical security and compliance requirement, it’s also been difficult and expensive to achieve. Previously, encrypting all data has not been practical because of the performance implications, which leads IT teams to selectively encrypt, which increases complexity of the implementation and proving compliance with security standards. With the increased performance benefits provided by z14, IMS is taking advantage by adding encryption support to protect data in IMS databases, IMS logs, and IMS message data sets.

With 80% of the world’s data locked up in private data centers, it’s a huge competitive advantage to unlock the value of that data. IMS systems hold mission critical data that is often at the core of the business and is an essential set of data to include in analytics. IBM Machine Learning for z/OS enables you to activate those insights at the source and without adding in extended latency by needing to move data off platform.  The IBM Machine Learning engine can easily access IMS data directly via our IMS JDBC drivers without requiring complex ETL. Performance improvements in z14 makes these solutions faster and even more attractive.

Digital transformation is happening at a rate and pace that is only accelerating, and clients who embark on projects to connect their mainframe to the rest of their enterprise see a 300% return on their investment (ROI) according to an IDC study. With z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition, developers can easily expose IMS applications as REST APIs in a matter of minutes. What’s new in z14 is that the faster hardware cryptographic capabilities leveraged by our SSL support means our IMS APIs offer 2 to 3 times better performance for secure REST APIs over x86-based platforms.

Additionally, new container pricing options enable clients to deploy new solutions using the best technical answer without concerns about impacts to their monthly license charges. This is an exciting update that can be leveraged to add up to 3 times more capacity to existing environments for development and test purposes as well as pricing new microservices or applications individually without impact the cost of other workloads on the same system. This container pricing model can also be leverage for payment systems such that pricing is based on the business metric of payment volumes that a bank processes, not the available capacity. This is particularly useful in the fast-growing Instant Payment segment and can provide greater flexibility in a competitive environment.

The combination of z14 and IMS enables clients to make mission critical transactions and data widely available in an open, connected, and most importantly, secure and trusted way.

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