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Updated by Charles Bystock on 06/03/2014

mainframe-outsourcing-providers_(4)The best mainframe outsourcing providers are those who will focus where your priorities lie. What do you want to achieve with mainframe outsourcing? Some goals are very specific, whereas others are broader and more vague.

Your company’s goals could be greater flexibility or scalability. Reduced, or at least optimized, costs. More effective and less expensive disaster recovery procedures. Better and more consistent uptime. An improved architecture configuration. Perhaps you want to concentrate on consolidation. Or offload mainframe management responsibilities.

With mainframe outsourcing providers, you can’t simply choose your product and order a size, color and quantity. You’re custom-designing a best-fit that will move with you comfortably as your company evolves. That takes more skill, more knowledge, more insight. IT consultants know who the best mainframe outsourcing providers are – the ones best for you.

They have personal experience working with providers.

That’s why choosing consultants who have extensive experience with your company’s type of IT environment, and your industry, can be so important. There’s nothing theoretical about their advice. It’s based on real-life – their own personal background with mainframes, not just with outsourcing providers. Their hands-on experience becomes a learning experience for you, and that can give you a significant leg up.

They will help you avoid potential snags and unintended consequences, and they’ll show you tips and opportunities you can take advantage of, all to help you identify the best solutions as well as the most appropriate providers.

IT consultants know your internal business management challenges and priorities affect mainframe decisions, too. Things like:

  • Labor – retiring staffers that know your legacy mainframes inside and out. With a well-publicized shortage of up-and-coming skilled replacements, how can you maintain mainframe operations without sacrifice? And how can you quell the fears of remaining IT staff who see the potential of outsourcing as a job killer?
  • Culture – how your enterprise works can be as important as what you do. And whether your employees tend to embrace or eschew change can affect IT implementation as well as decision-making.
  • Who are your customers, and what are their service expectations?
  • What are your compliance requirements?
  • How are mobility issues affecting your company?

Any or all of these factors can be important in determining who the best mainframe outsourcing providers may be for your company.

IT consultants are devoted to remaining up to date on every aspect of the current and emerging marketplace.

And that’s not easy. Mainframe outsourcing providers are part of a world that is continuing to evolve rapidly, with change manifesting itself in myriad ways. It seems as if nearly every day we see new hardware and software technologies. Improvements to old solutions and altogether new solutions. Different configurations of hybrid solutions that combine formerly disparate options. Provider specialization and a trend toward sourcing to multiple providers. And new pricing models.

Few, if any, corporate IT managers have time to stay abreast of all this. That makes it difficult if not impossible to identify the best mainframe providers on your own.

An IT consultant functions like a stock broker, constantly scanning the environment and digging deeper to identify implications and opportunities surrounding marketplace changes, especially as they relate to tailoring solutions and provider choices to each client company’s individual requirements.

No agenda = no sales pitch.

“Best” is a relative term. It can mean most strategic, fastest, easiest, most cost-effective (or just plain cheapest), among other things. Or all those things, depending on your corporate perspective. The one fact that stands out is that your “best” is not the same as some other company’s.

Because IT sourcing consultants are independent, they’re unbiased. Their only concern is helping you define and locate the mainframe outsourcing providers who represent the best for you company.