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Updated by Charles Bystock on 09/03/2013


mainframe outsourcing misconeptionsEven though mainframe outsourcing is hardly a new concept, misconceptions about how it works or how well it works continue to keep some companies from reaping the benefits. Perhaps some of the following concerns about mainframe outsourcing have been holding you back.

Our company is too big.

We’re too far-flung. Too complex. Outsourcing is for smaller companies that don’t have the resources we do to handle things internally. In fact, just the opposite is true. Economies of scale exist on a sale that can benefit even the largest global enterprises.

Your mainframe operations may be more extensive than most organizations have to manage, but they’re not really so different as smaller data center operations. And IT  outsourcing has become the essence of scalability. The potential value of mainframe outsourcing for your organization hinges on your unique business case, not your size or complexity.

And wouldn’t you rather put your considerable in-house resources to more effective use?

Saving money is an unrealistic expectation.

Doing more with less is every exec’s mantra these days. Identifying opportunities to reduce out-of-pocket costs and saving through increased efficiencies are crucial. But as with any new initiative your enterprise undertakes, it’s particularly important to carefully analyze your data, and that includes having a clear and comprehensive understanding of your total cost of ownership.

Mainframe outsourcing has helped many large global companies reduce or eliminate costs for:

  • Labor, hiring and training.
  • Facilities management and overhead, including power costs.
  • New or upgraded hardware, software, etc..
  • Support.
  • Tangible and intangible results of downtime.

It’s not safe enough.

Actually, cloud-based solutions are generally far safer. Mainframe outsourcing providers have to meet the highest industry standards for safety and security – their reputation and business survival depend on that – so you can be confident in their ability to protect your data and infrastructure.

Redundant systems back up and house your data offsite. It’s quickly and easily recoverable, assuring critical business continuity when you need it most. Encryption and other technology security advances can protect even the most sensitive proprietary or customer-owned data. And you can more easily comply with increasing government and industry-based regulations.

It’s all or nothing.

There are now so many options available, even the most extensive enterprise can fashion a customized mainframe outsourcing scenario that’s right-sized and aligned with your unique needs and goals. The key is to work with potential providers to develop a high-level solution, rather than trying to pre-define what sort of transformation you want.

You can address issues such as system software support and computer operations, data center migration, disaster recovery, technology architecture and runtime improvements. And your ultimate solution can be as extensive or narrowly-focused as you want.

Mainframe outsourcing is more efficient. It’s scalable and flexible. You gain working partner and enhanced staff without the associated costs and headaches. And you’re always up-to-date with the latest technology and best practices.

We’ll lose control.

Rest easy, you’re still the boss. You’ll still have the same type of control you do with your internally-hosted environment. The only thing that changes is who’s doing the day-to-day work. Contractual elements, including SLAs and performance metrics, are up to you. And it’s your call when there are higher-level decisions that need to be made.

Mainframe outsourcing certainly won’t solve all your problems. If that were the case everyone would have already made the switch. But you can choose total transformation to address across-the-board challenges in a single dramatic move, or you can select a few commoditized services as a “starter package” to test outsourcing in an incremental way.

Well-thought-out mainframe outsourcing solutions can dramatically improve your day-to-day efficiency and productivity. You really can do more with less, and you can do it better, with fewer worries. And that’s no misconception.

Photo credit: Mysid via Wikimedia Commons