7 Mainframe Fallacies
August 8, 2019 Mainframe Agility

The Mainframe is “Alive” and Well

[Average: 5]

Overview: A quick review of the recent eBook that answers the rumors about mainframe relevance
with facts and shows promise for a long-term future.

It’s true. All reports that the mainframe is on the way out—headed, as it were, for the River Styx—have been greatly exaggerated. Yet anti-mainframers continue to talk up the demise of the mainframe, but their rhetoric isn’t based on fact. Before you write off the mainframe for the next best—or maybe you’ve even heard, “better” thing—consider the following and you just might save your organization significant time and money.

If your company is like more than three-quarters of organizations today, many of your customer-facing applications and mission-critical work are reliant on your mainframe. Those are the facts that came out of a paper written by Forrester Consulting Research commissioned by Compuware.

So, if everyone is relying on their mainframes to continue working, why are there still so many rumors that the end is near for this reliable pillar of IT? The truth is there’s plenty of life in it and that’s why the 7 Mainframe Fallacies is worth your review.

For every misconception is a greater truth, one that dispels the myths.

Let’s take at a look at some of the top myths before they lead your company off course.

Myth: The mainframe is expensive

According to research from Rubin Worldwide, when companies increase the use of the mainframe and reduce reliance on physical servers, they realize a 14 percent cost savings. Additionally, the mainframe does 68 percent of production workloads at only six percent of the IT budget. As much as nonbelievers may want to move away from the trusted soldier of the mainframe, companies relying on servers are adding cost and complexity to production and maintenance.

The fact is the mainframe has proven to be extremely reliable, secure and scalable. Plus, in a world of ever-growing mobile, web and other data transactions, it’s able to handle high processing volumes quickly and efficiently. Rather, than being too expensive, the mainframe is worth every dollar you invest to sustain and develop it.

Myth: The cloud is better

Not to rain on your parade, but the cloud alone is not the answer to every IT need. It’s never a good thing to sign up for the next new technology just because it’s the newest toy in the box. This kind of re-platforming isn’t a good idea.

Actually, it’s better to pair the mainframe with cloud technology and take advantage of each platform’s capabilities. Together, this approach helps ensure that mission-critical assets can be hosted on the mainframe and commodity workloads with XaaS resources are housed on cloud providers. This one-two punch helps reduce complexity and curtail costs, allowing businesses to reinvest the money they save into other areas that positively impact the bottom line.

Myth: COBOL is history

The language of the mainframe—COBOL—is a dead one and new development teams can’t work with it—they don’t even know about it and very few universities teach it.

The truth is COBOL is a modern language that is not any more difficult to learn than other programming languages. True, few universities offer COBOL classes, but they don’t need to. Today’s developers are polyglots—comfortable working with a variety of programming languages.

Some of the largest organizations, from airlines, to financial institutions, to government agencies, still rely on COBOL to run their most important services. Actually, there are over 220 billion lines of COBOL in existence with more added all the time, and it’s still serving us well. Every day use includes everything from ATMs, to shopping online, and everything in between. It touches nearly every industry and aspect of our personal and professional lives, from banking to air travel. This is a 40-year-old language, not an ancient one. It’s still relevant, fast and it’s continually being optimized for today.

Shut down the mythmakers

This isn’t a story of a legend, rather a chance to set the record straight.

Read the 7 Mainframe Fallacies eBook yourself. Then, have a conversation with other your IT leaders, developers and decision-makers. The time you take to dispel the rumors that may be coursing through your organization, may be the difference between whether your business stays afloat or sinks.

Don’t listen and be led astray by a siren’s song, get the facts.

Download the eBook

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Margie Topous

Margie Topous is a Content Manager/Strategist for Compuware. She’s developed digital content for many industries, including automotive, technology, small business, nonprofits and many more. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Wayne State University.
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