Five Stages of Mainframe Grief

by | Aug 7, 2019

1. Denial: We need digital transformation and can build it ourselves. The company begins manual coding of APIs to connect the mainframe to modern applications, but progress is slow.

2. Anger: A hypothesis that the mainframe is an obstacle to innovation followed by a Board level edict that the mainframe must be replaced. The company begins planning to rip and replace the mainframe and all legacy applications, embarking on a five-year plan to shut down the mainframe.

3. Bargaining: In year five, the mainframe is still the system of record with a few new capabilities off, but still connected to the mainframe. While the do-it-yourself mindset slows progress, the long-term plan to sunset the mainframe proceeds.

4. Grief: The company falls further behind as efforts to rip and replace the mainframe have resulted in little progress on digital transformation and fall well behind its competitors. A developer wails “Who thought we could replace forty years of legacy code in five years?”

5. Acceptance: In year ten of the five-year plan, the mainframe is still the system of record. A new strategy is adopted to keep the legacy mainframe applications and build new capacities around the core mainframe by developing APIs. GT Software’s Ivory Service Architect helps the company build complex REST APIs in a fraction of the time. Innovation, accompanied by a hybrid cloud strategy, accelerates dramatically.

Give us a call and we’ll help you cope!

Steve Hassett

Steve Hassett


Steve Hassett is President of GT Software. Hassett previously held roles as an M&A advisor, a corporate development executive with Verint Systems and Sage Group plc, and ran a new ventures group for The Weather Channel. Before that, he was CEO of iTendant, a SaaS and mobile software company he co-founded in 2000. Steve is also the inventor of U.S. Patent 9,378,515, which deals with the availability of mobile content based on a user’s location and the time of transmission.