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Mainframe Outsourcing: How to Future-Proof Your Mainframe

Dec 17, 2013 6:00:00 AM

by Charles Bystock

mainframe outsourcing (3)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?

On the other hand, you are painfully aware that mainframe operations costs are spiraling upward. That’s eating away at your bottom line, and it could be undermining your company’s ability to grow. If you don’t do something significant – and soon – the future could start to look pretty bleak.

At some point, your treasured mainframe will hit the productivity wall. Aside from the escalating expense of continually expanding mainframe capacity and associated physical facilities, your legacy systems are losing their ability to communicate and integrate with newer technologies. Those new devices, applications and even processing protocols are shaping the future of IT. Who knows what’s next?

You’re an industry leader now. But remaining at the forefront requires changing with the times. Adopting the latest tools and techniques to streamline and reduce costs makes you more adaptable, which is why you may find that mainframe outsourcing does indeed offer the best solution to future-proof your mainframe.

It’s time to take a hard look at your current situation.

Just because things are still going smoothly – other than those pesky rising costs – doesn’t mean your mainframe isn’t ripe for an overhaul. Antiquated infrastructure should be updated before it leaves you vulnerable.

Your key IT personnel are retiring, and they’re taking their intimate knowledge of your mainframe with them. You can’t just refill the funnel with new staff, because the population of mainframe-conversant IT techs is dwindling.

Customers expect easy, quick and reliable response. Somehow you have to process data so that what customers see appears simple, regardless of how complex transactions are on the back end.

Everyone is sensitive to security issues. You have to protect both your own internal data and customer data, too. You have to be able to recover quickly from isolated failures as well as widespread disasters that threaten to take your entire enterprise out of service.

You have to facilitate access for mobile and other devices, cloud-computing, etc. and be ready to interact with as-yet-unknown technologies.

You need to bridge the gaps and shore up the weaknesses in your current capabilities.

Underlying it all, you need relevant processes and controls that support your current operational needs and also ensure you’ll be able to roll with whatever comes your way in the years to come, whether that’s growth, consolidation or some entirely new direction altogether. The future will belong to those who can adapt quickly and efficiently, without disruption or drops in service levels or quality.

You don’t have to turn your back on tried-and-true mainframes.

After all, they’re still the backbone of business everywhere. According to Gartner, 80% of global business applications still rely on mainframe technology, and for good reason. You can’t argue with decades of reliability, security and performance. But you do need to find a way to successfully transition your mainframe operations into the future.

Mainframe outsourcing has been around for decades. In that time, the marketplace has blossomed into a broad panoply of choices in terms of solution options, providers and even pricing. You can pick and choose as you like, and you can start small, if that makes you more comfortable.

Ultimately, future-proofing your mainframe is a matter of instituting efficiencies wherever you can without sacrificing the outstanding performance you’re used to. Mainframe outsourcing can facilitate that. You can construct a solution custom-tailored specifically for your enterprise, one that can comfortably meet current needs but which also ensures the flexibility and scalability you’ll require to deftly handle the unknown.

The future is coming. Is your mainframe ready?

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