GT Software, a mainframe modernization software company, is recommending a proposed three part solution to the strains seen on legacy mainframe systems that power vital services including relief payments, unemployment insurance and more.
GT Software’s three-part solution solves the crisis for failing mainframe systems:
- Create cloud-integrated mainframes today that scale to meet demand
- Utilize better (no-code) tools in building connected mainframes without COBOL
- Simultaneously develop more COBOL-ready talent for the workforce of 2021 and beyond
Together, these three efforts can prevent IT from failing in key moments in the future. In states like New York, New Jersey, Florida and Ohio, legacy system issues are slowing down economic relief. Mainframe integrations were not built with the massive influx of traffic in mind. Yet the systems must support those efforts right away, and in the future.
Mainframes are not unique to government, either. According to IBM, 92 of the top 100 global banks still rely on mainframes as their core system. All of the world’s top 10 insurers and over two-thirds of the top 25 retailers also depend on these legacy systems. In fact, more than 200 billion lines of COBOL code remain in production, a number that still grows each year.
It’s impossible to update decades of legacy COBOL to cloud-based applications rapidly enough to respond to the demands of COVID-19. Therefore government and enterprise require intermediate solutions to connect mainframes and keep critical systems running at record volumes.
The Connected Mainframe
Rather than try to build new capabilities into legacy systems, companies should create what consulting firm IDC calls “the connected mainframe,” by installing intermediary mainframe-to-cloud integrations. These connective systems facilitate inbound and outbound calls between mainframes and modern cloud-based applications.
It is possible today to construct connected mainframes without a single line of COBOL. Modern tools from GT Software can reduce the labor required to create each new integration by as much as 90% with no-code GUI.
Using these tools, developers can integrate their mainframe many times faster, resulting in a more productive team and quicker innovation. Importantly, the same tools can make outbound API calls from the mainframe to serve any manner of critical function; checking terrorist databases, connecting with AI-based fraud systems, or initiate real-time payments. With connected mainframes, organizations can integrate features far more easily than by using COBOL.
Develop New Talent
The unemployment crisis in states around the country, and mainframe failures elsewhere in government and business have brought attention on the short supply of COBOL programmers in the market. Help is on the horizon.
As demand for COBOL skills skyrockets, wages are on the rise. According to PayScale, the average Java developer earns around $74,000, while the COBOL developer now earns $79,000. Much needed labor supply increases are also coming soon, as companies like IBM and Broadcom and schools like The University System of Georgia launch programs to develop legacy system talent.
COVID-19 presents as a stress test for technology infrastructures around the world. Many mainframe systems are unprepared to handle massive shifts in volume, from systems in government to those in health care, lending, banking, insurance and other key industries. The lack of COBOL talent and the inability to react quickly to changing marketplace needs is a challenge. Yet, mainframes are effectively too engrained in our system to pivot with any speed. As such, the legacy systems will surely remain integral for the foreseeable future.
Organizations in government and business alike should act now to establish the connected mainframes our society requires in advance of whatever challenge we’ll face next.
About GT Software
GT Software empowers many of the world’s largest banks—such as SunTrust, JP Morgan Chase, and Natixis—to accelerate their IT modernization efforts. By enabling companies to connect legacy mainframe assets with modern, cloud-based systems, GT removes a major roadblock for Fortune 1000 companies looking to elevate their customer experience. Pioneering the Open Banking movement in Europe and the US, GT Software allows mainframes to rapidly create inbound calls and call out. Now, legacy systems can perform functions such as real-time payment, fraud detection, KYC, and AML in real-time. GT Software is proud to help lead innovation with its 35+ years of mainframe expertise.