Imagine a digital engineering workplace where thousands of people are building a single system. This system is used by two-thirds of the Fortune 100, 45 of the world’s top 50 banks, 8 of the top 10 insurers, 7 of the top 10 global retailers and 8 out of the top 10 telcos as a highly secured platform for running their most mission-critical workloads. The development effort involves coordinating manufacturing, chip design, hardware, firmware, testing and defect tracking, while also meeting stringent regulatory requirements across a variety of industries and governmental standards.
This is the challenge that teams working on IBM Z® (the family name for IBM’s z/Architecture mainframe computers) face with every new product release.
Looking to the future
The IBM Z developers embarked on an extensive year-long evaluation of the development tools available in the marketplace that would help them manage their daunting engineering workflow. To carry out this evaluation, stakeholders created a matrix chart showing which solutions included the required integration capabilities for the tools used by the team.
The team selected components of the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) solution, namely IBM Engineering Workflow Management (EWM), a fully integrated software development solution designed for complex product management and engineering, as well as for large, distributed development organizations that produce mission-critical systems subject to regulatory compliance. But this choice was not a foregone conclusion.
“By being completely objective and allowing the criteria and data to do the talking, we were led to EWM,” said Dominic Odescalchi, project executive manager of IBM zHW program management. “EWM was the consensus tool that we collectively agreed upon to provide the best solution.”
The advantage of IBM ELM tools
The zHW platform development team will leverage EWM as the central hub of engineering data, taking advantage of the customization capabilities within the broader ELM solution. This way, every team can adapt the processes that fit them best while remaining coordinated across one view of the development data and progress. Managing this data is critically important given the highly regulated workloads that are run on these systems across a variety of industries, governmental agencies and countries.
Given the holistic design of IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management, the team has also adopted the IBM Engineering Test Management tool to manage the comprehensive verification and validation of the hardware, again leveraging the one view and traceability across development data.
“With EWM’s integrated tool stack, key data will be readily available through connection to various team repositories,” said Odescalchi. “This will enable us to kick the doors wide open to automating and aggregating data. It’s going to free up countless hours to focus on performing higher value activities.”
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