While anniversaries are often a time for reflecting on the past, Computer Business Review (CBR) seized the celebration of the mainframe’s five decades as an opportunity to peer into its future.
CBR identified five reasons why the mainframe is designed for the long haul:
The mainframe has always been a flexible technology that advances right alongside changing IT needs. "It has continuously evolved, as we completely renew it every two years. It's actually only ever as old as the latest release,” Deon Newman, vice president of System z marketing at IBM, told CBR. "Today's mainframe is built for a modern world of cloud, big data and mobile applications, and it remains relevant to all organizations, for all sorts of applications."
The largest transaction-oriented industries in the world, including banking and insurance, depend on the mainframe’s ability to reliably process their ever-expanding stores of data. Because of its ability to grow with the times, the mainframe will not only continue to support these fundamental operations, but also serve as the core infrastructure for mobile and other next generation technologies.
There has been no shortage of new technologies over the years vying for the mainframe’s market share. But through it all the mainframe has persisted, and today it thrives, as the workhorse companies know they can rely on.
"You can see it used in the core suites of the major UK banks, financial services companies, retailers and government departments,” IBM Cloud Advocate Steven Dickens told CBR. “That traditional engagement continues—mainly because customers know there really isn't anything else fit for the purposes they have in mind.” The same is true in the U.S.—there’s just no other platform that continues to deliver the same value for businesses.
Cloud services may be the buzz of the moment, but Dickens told CBR that he believes that the only way to ensure high availability of those services is to back them up on the mainframe. Nothing else offers the security, reliability and speed of System z.
The mainframe enables organizations to run real-time analytics on vast amounts of data, giving them immediate insights that allow them to nimbly respond. The next generation of applications, CBR writes, will require that kind of agility to stay competitive.