Increased disruption will create new imperatives to modernise the mainframe in 2017

As businesses face new pressures to modernise their operations, 2017 will see an inflexion point when legacy mainframes cease being an asset and become a liability.

This is according to multinational technology innovator TmaxSoft Inc., which believes that legacy mainframes can act as a brake on enterprise innovation, rendering organisations less able to compete in the digital age.

Joshua Yulish, CEO at TmaxSoft, explains: "The shelf-life of business models is rapidly decreasing and surviving in this age of digital disruption depends on businesses' ability to use technology to constantly reinvent themselves and react flexibly to changing market conditions. Organisations stuck on legacy mainframes - which are fundamentally at odds with the new business paradigm and make it difficult to exploit new technologies such as cloud computing - will find this disruption particularly painful. If they are to avoid experiencing their own 'Kodak moment' and fend off the competition, these organisations will need to abandon their legacy mainframes – and to do so quickly."

According to Microsoft's recent Digital Transformation report, 43 per cent of business leaders believe that their business models will cease to exist within the next five years, while more than half of companies expect disruption to impact their industries within the next two years.

TmaxSoft espouses that organisations are limiting the scope of their digital transformation strategies by depending entirely on these legacy technologies, which have been around for decades. Slow time-to-market inhibits innovation by making the process of launching new services and responding to competitors a time-consuming, lengthy ordeal.

Fast moving trends such as big data, hybrid/cloud data management and the Internet of Things (all offering agility, speed, scaling and high-impact business outcomes) create an incredible amount of strategic and tactical decision making capabilities. With many legacy mainframe architectures being unable to live up to the demands of these trends, they can pose serious headaches for businesses with sluggish and inert technologies looking to remain competitive and agile. Without capable hardware, software and applications, many companies will lack the performance necessary to take advantage of these new initiatives.

Not only do companies incur high mainframe maintenance costs, they also have restricted access to best-in-class software. There are other severe limitations facing the traditional mainframe – including being locked into a single provider, as well as being exposed to the risk of an ever-contracting pool of people with the skills and experience to work with this legacy technology.

"The age of disruption is here and businesses must do everything they can to make sure they can fend off the competition from new market entrants and other established businesses – and that means moving away from mainframes and taking advantage of new technologies. Organisations who fail to acknowledge the importance of this from both a business and IT perspective, risk suffering serious consequences and depreciating their competitive advantage," CEO Joshua Yulish concluded.

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