In the early 1990s, cynics have predicted that the mainframe is going to vanish from the computing age, but present evidences represent a totally different picture. Today mainframes are assisting more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies and more than 95% of the banks across the globe to complete more than 30 billion transactions every day; the market and popularity of the mainframe is booming.
The resiliency possessed by the mainframe may feel odd in the modern age of mobile, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. It is the mainframe that has maintained its reputation of being the most scalable, reliable, and secure platform for handling the huge workloads of the modern digital economy. As people are using their smartphones and other digital devices for ordering their foods, clothes, movie tickets, and so on, the mainframe provides the efficient platform to carry out require processes and transactions seamlessly. Instead of phasing out, organizations should focus on maximizing the mainframe’s potential to achieve an unbeatable competitive advantage.
The Mainframe – Putting It on the Table
The issue with the mainframe is that it has given fewer chances to prove its worth to be a key bread-winner at the table; it has been contained to its own silos by being separated from the IT world. It has always been perceived as a mysterious platform to people working outside its inner circle. Such issues must be addressed by IT teams so that mainframes can achieve its full potential and get desired acceptance. Marketers and IT leaders should make active efforts to break down the barriers between distributed application teams and mainframe; also, they should integrate it as an integral part of their multi-platform IT environments and mainstream DevOps.
The agile developers operating in digital multi-platform environments should take the responsibility to encourage mainframe’s acceptance. As mainframe code has the capability to create a large volume of the digital DNA that guides how a business should run, it becomes imperative to prevent that one mainframe from being isolated in order to transform DevOps into a real competitive advantage. That is why it’s in the best interest of everyone to open the gates for mainframe into mainstream IT.
Creating a Level-playing Field
In order to achieve the mainframe transition, organizations should make dedicated efforts in creating a level-playing field that can motivate DevOps artisans to show support for the mainframe. Mainframe development and distributed application teams should ensure that the toolset they are using is usable across the entire IT stack, whether they are tweaking the mainframe code-case of a new mobile application or giving finishing touches to its script. IT departments have numerous options to create these capabilities.
One of the top most turn-off factors for distributed application developers is the traditional environment (green-screen) associated with traditional mainframe programming. What those developers need is to overlay such environments with efficient interfaces similar to Windows as it will enable modern developers to operate with utmost comfort; moreover, it will discard the need for idiosyncratic knowledge. Also, it is critical for both non-mainframe and mainframe experts to realize the required level of interdependency between multi-platform application data and code. When a change of code is made in one application, lack of such interdependency can lead to deprecatory effects on the functionality of other similar applications
For instance, one of Europe’s leading banks is managing this challenge through visualization technique. The use of technique has provides its developers valuable insights to analyze the relationships between the bank’s various applications, and analyze any critical issues in programming logic. That way the technique enabled developers to analyze and resolve the issue in minutes instead of hours, or prevent the issue altogether by realizing the implications associated with the change in coding.
Welcoming a New Mainframe Dawn
Such active measures can enable organizations to get rid of the barriers that have been preventing them before in integrating the mainframe in their mainstream multi-platform IT environments and DevOps. Moreover, such measures can also encourage DevOps teams to achieve their full potential, become more agile, and breakdown associated silos; they will eventually assist in bringing people together to spread knowledge transfer between the new generation mainframe experts and newer developers. It will also minimize the risk created by the diminishing mainframe workforce by ensuring a seamless transition to the new promising generation. The transition will also encourage the new generation to harness the tremendous potential of the mainframe for themselves.