Who Wants to be a Mainframe Genius

Mainframes have been around for more than half a century, and for many businesses, they remain the backbone of their IT operations. However, as technology continues to evolve, many organizations are looking to modernize their mainframes to keep up with changing business needs and stay competitive.

But what does it even mean to modernize a mainframe? And what is the best approach to take when it comes to keeping your mainframe running at peak performance and with minimal cost? These are some of the questions addressed by Allan Zander in his article “So What Does ‘Mainframe Modernization’ Really Mean?” (♧ HINT)

Spoiler alert: Zander (CEO of DataKinetics) does not mean “using Vendor A’s specific (and possibly inflexible) software solutions, and it certainly doesn’t mean to suddenly or even gradually dump your existing high-value and mission-critical IT assets into the landfill.” Rather, Zander outlines a more nuanced approach that preserves the centrality of the mainframe, while optimizing it for performance and cost reduction. 

However, if you’re still worrying about the continued viability of the mainframe, Tamal Das’ article “Why is the Mainframe Still Relevant and Thriving in 2022?” (♧ HINT) might help you relax a bit. Das contends that despite the popularity of cloud computing, mainframe systems remain highly relevant in business operations.

IBM, the still undisputed leader in mainframe manufacturing and servicing, has recently announced upgrade plans, migration opportunities, capability enhancement plans, collaborations, and more. These are not the actions of a company that is getting set to back away from its investment in mainframes.

In fact, Das’ article shows that recent financial reports of IBM do not show any declining trend for the mainframe industry. And there are other statistics that should give comfort to people and businesses deeply invested in the mainframe. 

A Deloitte survey revealed that 74% of businesses that use mainframe systems consider them important for their operations, even as they actively subscribe to cloud computing services. Meanwhile, a Statista report on Big Iron’s role in hybrid IT strategy in 2021 revealed that 85% of the respondents believe and trust mainframe solutions to solve modern technology problems critical to highly scaled-up businesses.

Read both articles and then see how much you took in with our Trivia Quiz here.

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at sonjasoderlund.com or LinkedIn.