Legacy Mainframe Platforms are Anchors around Enterprise IT's Neck
It is widely estimated that over 70% of Enterprise IT budgets in shops where mainframe computers are prevalent is spent on simply maintaining mainframe platforms and antiquated applications that make little or no use of technology advances over the past 25 years.
The legacy mainframe application platform is largely inflexible in incorporating new technology other than a "lipstick on the pig" approach. At the end of the day, COBOL today still represents more lines of programming code in production than all other languages combined. Much of this COBOL code is well over 10-20 years old. In a nutshell, mainframe applications are the quintessential example of the "tail wagging the dog" when it comes to Enterprises trying to reduce IT costs, perform better service to their users and customers as well as trying to meet growing business challenges.
The New York Times recently published a story about the mainframe marketplace having become a near monopoly and the primary vendor of such taking extreme measures to prevent technologies from surfacing that may give users of such more cost effective solutions and impact the related revenues.
I have been working in the industry for over 25 years moving workloads off of mainframes and midranges (e.g. UNIX) to Intel architecture (DOS, OS/2 and Windows) after having begun my career in the mainframe environment. Along the way, I've run into challenges and worked with many Enterprise customers related to such helping them experience significant cost reductions and performance enhancements - both in re-hosting existing mainframe applications to the much less expensive Intel platform, and in some cases replacing legacy applications (or parts thereof) using newer technology.
The rewards can be significant. This blog is dedicated to helping IT Executives as well as Development Staff understand the issues and potential solutions related to moving away from the mainframe.