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Updated by Charles Bystock on 12/05/2013

mainframe outsourcingIf your most skilled and experienced in-house mainframe expert is about to retire, it’s time to take a closer look at mainframe outsourcing.

Your problem isn’t merely that a single individual is moving on. It’s the fact that many -- if not the entire contingent -- of your top IT professionals are going to retire soon. Perhaps they have already started leaving. These are the people you’ve counted on for many years to guide and sustain your mainframe operations. They’ll take invaluable, irreplaceable knowledge and experience with them when they go. And new hires can be very hard to come by.

You need a plan to function without these people, before they leave and leave you vulnerable.

Some industry watchers downplay concerns about the shortage of newly-graduating IT students who are able to speak the language of legacy mainframe systems. They cite the fact that a few colleges and universities do still teach COBOL, etc. And they note that some technology developers are creating software and other tools designed specifically to help recent grads bridge the gap between their education and legacy mainframe operations.

While that may be true, the pool of legacy-savvy candidates just isn’t there to replace your retiring experts. Relying on a band-aid approach might buy you some time, but it cannot secure your future in a reliable, meaningful way. Mainframe outsourcing, on the other hand, can enable you to sidestep the personnel hurdle.

The problem extends beyond people.

Even if you could hire all the properly-knowledgeable folks you need to replace your retiring mainframe pros, you still have to deal with the impending obsolescence of your mainframe systems themselves. Your legacy infrastructure is getting older along with the people who maintain it, bringing corresponding issues and challenges.

Meanwhile, everything is far more complex. Mainframes are handling more data than ever. That requires ever-increasing storage capacity and higher processing speeds. New technologies – mobile devices, cloud computing, etc. – are radically changing the ways in which people need to access your data.

The bottom line here is that the aging process – for people and the mainframes they manage -- could very well weaken your ability to remain competitive. It could weaken confidence in your future capabilities.

Mainframe outsourcing can provide a comprehensive solution.

It has certainly proven to be the right choice for a multitude of other large global enterprises over the past few decades. Mainframe outsourcing can guarantee access to the latest technologies and best practices, enabling you to streamline your finances as well as your productivity.  

Just because the world of IT is experiencing radical change doesn’t mean you have to write off your mainframes. But you do need to proactively address the inevitable, before it hobbles your daily operations or your ability to remain innovative, responsive and competitive. Strategically configured mainframe outsourcing could enable you to:

  • Meet current needs while reducing costs and assuring stable service levels and quality.
  • Resolve emerging challenges of diverse access, especially mobile devices and remote locations.
  • Smoothly interface with new apps and other technology advancements.
  • Transform fixed costs into variable costs that better support financial agility, by conserving capital and making more effective use of operations budgets.
  • Position your organization to flexibly take advantage of the Next Big Thing or contract operations if that becomes necessary.
  • Weather even a major disaster with minimal disruption and lower costs.

It’s time to think about your future.

Mainframe outsourcing not only takes up the slack created by internal staff retirements, it brings you a new team with cutting-edge skills and knowledge – the expertise you need to more adeptly plan ahead instead of simply filling in the gaps.

IT is becoming more complex because companies worldwide now depend on electronic transactions to conduct their business. Employees and customers expect individualized,  reliable, real-time responsiveness. Mainframe outsourcing can address all these challenges, with solutions that are as unique as your enterprise. 


Photo Credit: vaxomatic via Flickr