Future of the Mainframe

Many folks have written the mainframe off for years. And it certainly seems true that it isn’t as compelling as it once was with respect to performance or capability; it’s complex and most people don’t understand it, despite the potential TCO advantages. But I attended an introductory course on z/OS (IBM’s ‘standard’ mainframe OS) some months ago, and it’s striking how much the mainframe still has to offer that other platforms don’t, particularly with respect to the *ilities that Richard was writing about recently - mostly due to the superior architecture and hardware. Of course mainframes can be arcane, and in some cases actually backward, but it seems like plenty of people aren’t willing to give up on them just yet. However, it’s a known problem that those with expertise in mainframes are leaving the workforce. So it’s refreshing to see that IBM is committing to simplifying the platform. This is going to be a challenge - changing the platform whilst keeping its reputation for stability is going to be hard - but it’s necessary for IBM to keep the platform alive, and necessary for the mission-critical systems that our customers run that still rely on this knowledge. So I look forward to seeing how it changes over the coming years.