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This is part 2 of our mini-blog series covering the ‘fake news’ about migrating off the mainframe. These fake news stories often start with comments like “the client is running on a 1980’s mainframe and are struggling to modernise…”  Well lets get that out of the way first off…  no client anywhere is running their business on 40-year old hardware.  That is like saying clients are still using Apple II as desktops, its just blatantly not the case. I have blogged on this subject so check out that post for more on this fake news.

I hear you say “well they are running Cobol and PL/I from the 1980’s” and my response is the one from one of my other recent blogs… In summary no one computer language is better than any other and enterprise architecture investment decisions should not be made on this premise.

The mainframe is however an essential contributor to today’s most forward-thinking organisation’s growth plans. It’s proactively being applied as a catalyst for new commercial ventures, and the ongoing expansion of existing businesses. Mainframe modernisation and reinvention has already included a series of significant enhancements that enable the platform to be an essential component of many clients current digital transformation agenda. Take for example Blockchain, yes that cutting edge brand new buzz word in the industry… IBM is leveraging its Bluemix based (yes that cloud PaaS platform) and LinuxONE technology to be the foundation for it’s highly secure Blockchain offering, and don’t forget machine learning another cutting edge technology running on the mainframe.

But less of my opinions, lets get to the facts.  IBM and CA recently commissioned independent analyst IDC to look at the mainframe modernization market place.   The summary of this report is:

Key steps in achieving the connected mainframe require organizations to modernize and integrate the platform with their internal and external environments. IDC finds that these modernization and integration initiatives lead to new business innovations, which in turn are driving revenue growth in addition to improving operational efficiency and lower costs.

What projects are you embarking on that can deliver these types of benefits?:

  • 300%+ Return On Investment
  • 10 month payback
  • 50% of benefit from business productivity

According to the IDC market assessment, this is what progressive adopters of a connected mainframe strategy can achieve.  These connected mainframe adopters are generating an average of almost $200 million in additional revenue per year (realized from higher transaction volumes, new services, and/or business expansion), while also improving business and IT staff productivity and thereby cutting their operational costs. To the tune of  47% lower cost of operations over five years than if they had decided to migrate off the mainframe platform to a distributed or public cloud infrastructure.

The conclusions from the IDC market study are clear and compelling – recommitting  to mainframes and investing in new capability and innovation has enabled savvy clients to gain a competitive edge in their industry. These enlightened clients have ignored the uninformed rhetoric of the ‘mainframe doubters’ and the fake news they promote, and continue to seek the best ways to maximise their investment in powerful, reliable, secure and scalable IT infrastructure – that’s the connected mainframe.

If you are looking for more of the cool buzzwords and how they relate to the mainframe check out these blogs:

GIT on z/OS

Waterfall Vs Agile

DevOps

So in summary, don’t believe the hype that mainframe’s are old, not cutting edge or cannot be modernised and you have to migrate off, its just blatantly not true.  Worse migrating off may very well be the last major IT decision you are asked to make… well for your current employer anyway…