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Welcome to the Windsor Group knowledge base of articles
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You can learn many things about mainframe outsourcing from the experience of others. But since your circumstances and priorities uniquely define your enterprise, you have to assess mainframe outsourcing companies from your own distinct perspective. And that’s not easy. Your provider is just as important as the solution you choose, maybe more so.

You think IT itself and your internal mainframe environment have become complex? That same complexity is reflected in the line-up of mainframe outsourcing companies. You’re searching for a working partner and – hopefully – a long-term relationship. How do you know who to choose? Is it safer to just go with one of the big-name companies? Or should you look elsewhere to find the right fit?

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Maybe your policy up till now has been to avoid mainframe outsourcing, but it’s getting harder to justify that. Your costs continue to rise and the twin risks of legacy system obsolescence and retiring mainframe pros are growing more pressing with each passing day. Not to mention the rapidly increasing size and complexity of your company’s IT workload. It’s time to reassess that policy of avoidance.

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It’s not your father’s mainframe any more.

Mainframe outsourcing may have initially gained acceptance in response to an imperative to reduce costs, but companies have learned there are other strategic advantages, too. Large global enterprises now recognize mainframe outsourcing as a means to future-proof their operations, growing their business without losing sight of their legacy – the fundamental ability to assure readily-available, reliable, secure services to internal and external customers.

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No operations scenario could possibly be ideal for every enterprise, so there’s no reason to automatically assume mainframe outsourcing is the right answer for your company. Nonetheless, mainframe outsourcing has been successfully implemented by so many global enterprises over the years, it warrants examining the pros and cons as they might relate to your organization.

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It’s possible that up till now you haven’t worried about your mainframe’s future. Sure, big data is an issue. You’re processing vastly more transactions than ever. But that’s the beauty of mainframes, they can handle big workloads. Why would you need mainframe outsourcing?

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You can’t make strategically sound decisions about mainframe outsourcing unless you’re equipped with state-of-the-marketplace intel and insight. This is precisely why it’s valuable to work with an outsourcing consultant who has specific mainframe expertise. But while you’re willing to pay for sage advice, you don’t want to find yourself paying for more than you’re getting.

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The best defense is a good offense. You don’t have to be a football fan to understand how true that statement is. Proactive, insightful business management is your single greatest weapon when it comes to conquering the competition and growing your enterprise. And IT infrastructure assessment is one of your most important tools when it comes to uncovering risks that could sideline your company.

The entire assessment process is an act of risk identification and mitigation. You’re looking for areas of vulnerability so you can fill those gaps or retool to bridge them. Concurrently, you’re pinpointing strengths you may want to further augment.

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If your most skilled and experienced in-house mainframe expert is about to retire, it’s time to take a closer look at mainframe outsourcing.

Your problem isn’t merely that a single individual is moving on. It’s the fact that many -- if not the entire contingent -- of your top IT professionals are going to retire soon. Perhaps they have already started leaving. These are the people you’ve counted on for many years to guide and sustain your mainframe operations. They’ll take invaluable, irreplaceable knowledge and experience with them when they go. And new hires can be very hard to come by.

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Your long-established legacy mainframes are aging beyond their effective value. This situation isn’t going to fix itself. And the longer you wait to address it, the more likely your problems will morph from annoying and worrisome to dire. Now is the time to think ahead, so your enterprise can transition smoothly and seamlessly to new solutions without disruption or delay.

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