Mainframes—Villains or Heroes?

While I was reading the business section of my local newspaper (The Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch) and enjoying my morning coffee, the following article (March 21, 2013) caught my eye: “IT contract expected to save $150M in five years.” The only thing more intriguing than the title of the article was the opening paragraph:

The state of Ohio’s IT mainframe currently takes up four floors and 350,000 square feet of space, and worse, it’s inefficient. So the Department of Administrative Services expects a $267 million contract with IBM will save tax payers millions in return.

I said to myself, “This is getting really interesting,” because IBM rarely “replaces” IBM technology.  IBM goes to great lengths to create equipment that is “upgradeable” on the floor, creating the impression that it never becomes obsolete. A customer finds it much easier to stomach a mere upgrade versus what may be considered a disruptive “replacement.” Continue reading