Mainframe: Vicinity yet to be Explored

Kevin Brearley & David Taylor
Director, Product Management & President North America & India-Micro Focus International plc
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Kevin Brearley & David Taylor
Micro Focus International plc (LSE: MCRO.L) is a Berkshire headquartered company that develops and sell software products and solutions worldwide. The company has a current market cap of $ 1.16 billion.

Today, mainframe plays a vital role in the daily operations of most of the world's largest corporations. While other forms of computing are also used by organizations, mainframe occupies a strong place in today's business environment. Initially, mainframe provided only acceptable means of handling the data processing requirements of a large organization, but owing to the technological advances, mainframe today is used by these organizations to host the most important and mission critical applications. Recognizing the opportunity of mainframe, companies from various verticals including banking, finance, healthcare, insurance, government and several others made a shift to this. The stable and nearly-unbreakable platform for processing huge amounts of corporate data has made these companies fasten to mainframe.

But with the mainframe's rising cost, corporations want modernization solutions that preserve the investment in their business-critical mainframe applications. However, modernization can mean different thing to different people. You can envisage in using old applications to something that is recent like mobile or cloud. The way we use this term is getting us mission critical business applications that have been running for 20-30 years into a state of readiness for today's business and for tomorrow's. In doing this, we bring them to a place where they need to be right now to deal with business pressures like faster, more accessibility, getting into new markets, mobile and maybe cloud.

But the question is, are applications ready for this shift right now? Not many, but it is all about getting ready to do and stay prepared for this shift. However, the shift is pretty tough as it is expensive and takes a long time to implement and integrate. Even then, there is a heavy risk of, have you captured everything that you need and that is how people look to modernize. Also, being a complicated method, people prefer to rewrite but they do not understand that rewriting projects takes a long time, very resource heavy and full of risk. Around 45-60 odd percent of rewrite projects fail. The way we look at it is revamping or reusing it which is currently the fastest and less risky way which will take what you currently have and is active. We try to do this without changing it to fit into those modern arrangements, i.e., moving applications into the cloud or mobile rather than rewriting specifically for much less risk and lesser cost.

The Dearth

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