People are searching for the term progressively less over the years:


IBM is close to underperforming the S&P 500 for the first time in a decade:

However, there are early signs that the continued rise of the mobile economy may help save mainframes.  After largely flat movement from 2006 to 2012, there was a sharp uptick in patents that (in the abstract) discussed “mainframe” and “computer”. “Server” and “Mobile” also jumped:

Looking at patents for “mobile”, we see a similar uptick in patents for “mobile device”:

In fact, there is a strong correlation between the movement of patent counts around “Mainframe” and “Mobile Device”, suggesting that mainframes may be finding a place in the mobile economy:

Note: The data on granted patents is necessarily lagged by a few years, unfortunately. Here’s the explanation, in the form of the USPTO’s measurements of “Pendancy”, or time in “pending” status, which has consistently been more than a year.

The rise of mobile may have plateaued, but there are entirely new, data-intensive applications out there (IoT, VR) that may leverage the power of mainframes even more strongly


VR, IoT and Big Data:

And we can even see what our politicians think about these things. For example, here’s the usage of Big Data over time, as mentioned by some of the folks in Washington:


Regular Planet Mainframe Blog Contributor
Matt Ritter writes about business intelligence, data science, and whatever else he can get numbers about at Preinvented Wheel.

One thought on “The news seems to be bad for Mainframes as an industry.”
  1. […] 2015 was a great year for the mainframe business—and that was great news for large IT organizations running mainframe systems, as well as the companies that support these business sectors. The old myth that the mainframe is dead was countered by IBM with the launch of z13— the most powerful (designed to handle billions of transactions for the mobile economy), the most secure (with real-time encryption), the most cloud-ready, and the most big data analytics ready (embedded analytics capability) business system ever. This new system brings the mainframe back to center stage for those organizations that have been thinking about leaving mainframe because ‘mainframe applications are hard to modernize for new environments, especially mobile’ as Scott Fayden so eloquently mentioned in his article, Three Reasons the Mainframe is in Trouble: Not so Fast! This is important, as mobile will be a critical growth area, as Matt Ritter from PreInvented Wheel discusses in his piece on innovation trends. […]

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