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April 17th, 2014

Recent research into the cost of updating old mainframe programs indicates that it is a significant contributor to IT debt, and a possible drag on our global digital future. The study, conducted by technology consultants Vanson Bourne across the dynamic high-tech industries of Australia and New Zealand, has implications for the U.S. and every high-tech nation, as well as those still working to modernize. Roughly 10 percent more debt is expected to be piled on over the next five years.

The study concluded that the average firm would need $8-10 million to update aging mainframe applications, a 40-50 percent increase over the May 2012 figure, and the increases are accelerating. For companies relying on mainframes these upkeep costs are not optional, and must be justified as “worthy investments”. With the growing power of even a basic computer rental, is there really a need for these “enterprise legacy technologies” in the world of small, mobile, wireless, and distributed?

Where To?

The study indicated that the average tech firm expects to use mainframe applications for another 10 years, with nearly half expecting it to be even longer. This points out the longevity of mainframe applications versus the regularly updated OS you get when you rent iMac, but long life presents other problems, like funding these large, energy-thirsty, expensive systems in the first place. Some 7 of 10 CIOs believe they’re running into compliance and/or risk situations in the meantime.

The report clearly forecasts a coming era—flush with every wireless gizmo and even wearable technology—where businesses simply must find a way to pay for fundamental changes or lose out on business growth, new product R&D, and the obtention of new customers. It is not inappropriate to point out, too, that recently divulged reports on NSA/CIA/FBI spying have raised general concerns about large, eminently hackable computer databases full of our private information. We will come back to that subject soon, but for now it bears mentioning as yet another result of “big for big’s sake.”

It Will Be a Challenge

A solid majority (72 percent) of survey respondents admitted the difficulty of transitioning mainframe applications to mobile devices. One major problem is the sheer number of platforms, especially in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, where an iPad rental and a Chromebook PC need entirely different solutions. And Google Glass is on the way!

The best approach? Knowing your employees—and customers. Customer needs are forcing the changes coming into existence now. A full third of report participants are transitioning their mainframe applications into more modern languages (to work with our MacBook Pro rental and every other OS). Interestingly, a quarter of respondents are finding some success replacing legacy applications with “off-the-shelf solutions,” although many are less than ideal. We expect the majority of firms to take their mainframe applications to every device and OS that their customers use. We’ll keep you posted!

Don’t want to get bogged down with extensive technology upkeep and upgrade costs at your organization?  CRE Rentals offers the technology items that you need to effectively run your business today, and you won’t have any of the anxiety associated with making large, and limiting,  technology purchases.   Put our inventory and expertise to work for you.   Get a quote now or give us a call at 877-266-7725

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