Banks can still get use out of legacy mainframes

It's not the hardware that banks use that poses possible challenges for the future: It's what IT professionals decide to do with it. In a recent article for Forbes, consultant Jason Bloomberg discusses the future of the mainframe and how it is likely to continue providing value to enterprises that use it, especially in the banking industry. Because this sector is particularly tied to mainframe use, and the number of experts familiar with these systems is shrinking, banks need a way to continue access as other related technology changes.

Bloomberg spoke to Huntington Bank's Vice President and Service Delivery Director, Maureen Taylor, on the need for a successful transition into future mainframe use. Though Taylor says that mainframes are seen as cumbersome and expensive, she also says that, at least in her company's case, there are too many important functions tied to the mainframe to ever retire it from use completely.

"The mainframe is the best transaction processing platform you can get," she said. "The mainframe is stable, secure and highly scalable – making it a best in class solution for transaction processing." Later she added that "The mainframe is the core of the business. Our systems of record depend on it, including customer accounts and most transactional data."

Expenses are a consistent concern for mainframe operation that banks have to contend with as they assess their own operational costs. In an interview with American Banker, Dr. Jim Goodnight, CEO of software company SAS, said that data warehouses are one possible solution to keep costs as low as $100,000 for implementation. 

A mainframe modernization tactic that helps maintain accessibility through different screen-based devices in your organization will help your bank keep the basic strengths of the mainframe intact.