2020 Ushers in New Role for the Mainframe

by | Dec 17, 2019

Every December, we look back on the past year and marvel at the events that have taken place. You may have started the year single and are now engaged, or may now be the proud parent to a new baby or fur baby. A lot can change in just 12 short months. But one thing that has not changed over the course of the year is the strength of the mainframe.

Many have predicted its demise for years; however, the mainframe is still going strong and is still the stable, dominant system companies have counted on for decades. Mainframes are still extremely common in banking, education, financial institutions, manufacturing, and more. Ninety-two of the world’s top 100 banks, 71% of Fortune 500 companies, 23 out of the top 25 airlines, and 10 out of the 10 top insurers all still rely on the mainframe.

With 2019 coming to a close, here are some predictions about the future of the mainframe in 2020.

Mainframe modernization leads to cost reduction

Almost every company is looking for ways to cut costs, and those who have a mainframe are no exception. Unfortunately, the cost to maintain legacy mainframe systems has been steadily rising over the years. Combine this with a decline in mainframe developers and programmers, and there is a need for mainframe modernization, rather than just maintenance. Because of this, we predict that DevOps will become more common in the mainframe environment. Through modern development tooling and modern testing capability, organizations can achieve efficiencies in DevOps while also seeing advancements in mainframe investments. Embracing a DevOps culture will enable development at scale, while at the same time maintaining quality and process integrity, which will lead to a reduction in overall mainframe costs. Additionally, we see more companies using open source environments like Zowe. Open source environments allow those with little or no mainframe experience to use industry-standard open source tools that they are already comfortable using, to access and control mainframe services and resources. Both of these developments will lead to reduction of costs in 2020 for those with a mainframe.

Number of hybrid cloud environments will increase

According to research firm Gartner, by 2021, at least 75% of large and global enterprises will implement a multi-cloud capable hybrid integration platform, up from less than 25% in 2018. By incorporating the mainframe into the hybrid cloud environment, you are creating the best of both worlds: using the stability and security of the mainframe, but the versatility and agility of the cloud. A hybrid cloud lets organizations focus on digital transformation and shortens the time-to-market window. Companies can be more versatile and responsive, and combining the mainframe with the cloud is often a perfect fit for organizations looking to adopt creative solutions for their IT and computing needs. The hybrid cloud can provide benefits that improve speed, control, security, increase growth potential, lessen costs for the organization and increase orchestration. The number of organizations utilizing the hybrid cloud will to continue to grow in 2020 and over the next couple of years.

Open Banking will cause the banking industry to pivot

APIs are the key to open banking, as they enable developers to build applications and services around the financial institution. Open banking APIs have the potential to go beyond traditional banking and to usher in a new era of financial services and innovative technology. In a similar vein, more and more corporate payments will take place by FinTechs, connecting banks via open API’s. These payments will occur in real-time and will drive new open banking models in 2020. Open banking will also empower smaller and newer banks to become more competitive with larger, more established banks. This will cause traditional banks to adopt new technology and look at fresh ways to do things, which will ideally result in lower costs, better technology and improved customer service for all merchants.

With so many exciting changes happening in the mainframe world, it makes sense to work with a mainframe modernization company that can help you harness the power of your legacy system. Ask us how we can transition your mainframe from legacy to leading edge.