The price we must pay for simplicity is amplified when the company desiring simplicity is the largest technology company in the world. IBM is going to pour an absolutely massive $100 Million into simplifying their mainframes, with a goal to have a simpler machine requiring few people within the next five years. Due to a lack of qualified specialists able to handle the machines, IBM will also devote part of the money to better training:
"We are filling the pipeline of new mainframe professionals through programs like our Academic Initiative, said IBM's Bernice Casey in an e-mail. "Our Simplification Initiative is going to make those new people productive quickly." Casey is a distinguished engineer and system z user experience architect at IBM.
They are looking to revamp z/OS, the driving force behind many of their beefiest mainframes, giving them more autonomy and more ability to monitor themselves. Among other things, improvements to management and configuration are planned, along with the introduction of a modern GUI. While these things are pretty much considered a given on desktops and even most enterprise-class servers, on a behemoth like IBM's champions, ease of use has always taken a back seat.