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Researching mainframe outsourcing providers should be an enlightening experience, not a rocky road. Here are some hints to smooth the way:

Hint #1: This one’s obvious, but easy to overlook.

Mainframe outsourcing providers differ widely in what they bring to your table and how they work. Choosing the right one is far more complex than simply shooting out some RFPs and waiting to see who can do the work for least cost. Even how you craft those RFPs can help or hinder your efforts to find the best IT alternatives, including the most effective provider.

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Cloud infrastructure management is the process of organizing and maintaining your IT underpinnings – at least some of them – virtually. You’re probably already drifting toward the cloud, and outsourcing, too, by using a commodity email or similar service.  

Cloud computing is often described as a layered stack. Infrastructure forms the foundation of computers, networking and storage. The platform layer contains system components and services and supports the applications layer, which orchestrates both user and machine interfaces. Finally, clients sit atop the stack. Perhaps on Cloud 9?

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You could use some solid advice about IT transformation. You’re considering hiring an outsourcing consultant, but you know choosing the right one could be challenging. First, ask yourself what kind of help you want, because not all consultants offer the same scope of services or have equal expertise in every aspect of IT or deal size.

The right consultant can guide you toward your goal. They can lead you through every step in the outsourcing decision-making process, from assessment and solution design to drafting a well-targeted RFP, vendor selection and transition planning. Or they can simply assist you with some narrowly-targeted advice or service such as renegotiating an existing contract.

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Your enterprise may be similar to other large global companies in many respects, but it’s actually a unique organism. Pre-set formulas or “solution templates” may have some value for guiding IT planning, but they can’t possibly tell the whole story when it comes to determining what’s best for you.

Hiring an outsourcing consultant can help you pull together everything you need and sharpen your focus. They can determine what’s best for your enterprise, but they don’t work alone. Their job is to support you in finding the right course of action for your company.

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It's time to rethink, reinvent, and re-evalutate your business. We all need a platform to stand on and, ironically, the smart platform is the cloud.  Cloud computing services helps your business cut costs while reducing the complexity of your data centers increasing overall efficiency.

The cloud offers almost unlimited storage space. You don't have to worry about depleting storage space any longer nor do you need to fret over expanding your currrent storage capacity.

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Not all mainframe outsourcing providers are created equal. Perhaps that seems obvious, but it’s an important fact to keep in mind as you’re considering your options. And you do have options. Your job is to sift and sort, to find the right fit with your solution – or combination of solutions – and with your company.

You’re smart to team up with a sourcing consultant before you even begin this effort. Their in-depth knowledge of the marketplace and familiarity with individual providers can transform your selection process from overwhelming to well-defined and comfortably manageable. And that can boost your chances of success tremendously.

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One of the financial considerations when contemplating mainframe outsourcing is indirect costs of things such as unfulfilled contracts. If you’ve been leasing mainframe equipment or data center facilities and you’re nearing the end of that lease, now is the perfect time to reassess your strategy, rather than automatically renewing.

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The corporate imperative to do more with less permeates every aspect of your planning and decision-making. Mainframe outsourcing can help you creatively and strategically address that challenge, but if you don’t approach outsourcing carefully, you could wind up spending more and getting less than expected.

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Whether or not mainframe outsourcing is a useful tool for your company depends on your specific business drivers, culture and preferences. But when you consider the fact that leading global enterprises have adopted outsourcing to improve overall agility as well as IT performance, you can understand why it’s likely to be the recommended option for you as well.

Working closely with a knowledgeable mainframe outsourcing consultant can help you explore all your choices and ensure you understand the ramifications of each one. And they can help you develop a high-level business case against which to compare those alternatives.

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What will it cost? That’s a question you ask about any new purchase or endeavor. But when it comes to mainframe outsourcing pricing models, the answer is as complex as your enterprise-wide IT operations.

What you need to know now is that things will change. It’s a fluid environment. So what we really have here is a snapshot in time. That’s why it’s so helpful to team up with a consultant that has hands-on business experience and the marketplace familiarity to explain all the current mainframe outsourcing pricing models. They understand there’s more to “pricing” than writing a check each month.

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