Category Archives: Executive Suite


Mainframe Software Pricing

I have the dubious honor of being what some people may refer to as a mainframe pricing expert. In one fashion or another, I have supported or developed mainframe software pricing programs to support various generations of IBM hardware over the last twenty-five years.

Mainframe software pricing is one area that has lagged behind the many innovative improvements that we have seen on the mainframe. How can this be true when the mainframe is touted as being the best price/performance technology on the planet? Has the performance of mainframe hardware improved to the point that it offsets any deficiencies in software pricing models? Have we reached a point where the majority of software expenditures on the mainframe are for ongoing maintenance? If you are in maintenance mode, who is monitoring the cost and effectiveness of your software stack? Here are a few things that are holding back innovation in mainframe software pricing: Continue reading


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


Five Common Mainframe Myths

Here are five common mainframe myths dispelled:

  1. Mainframe hardware and software are prohibitively expensive.
    • Hardware—Whether you are counting dollars per MSU (MIPS), terabyte of storage, blade server, any other form of hardware, mainframes and their peripherals are less expensive than ever.
    • Software—Software pricing on mainframes can best be described as flexible for most vendors. Most vendors offer purchase, lease, and rental terms. Usage-based pricing (also known as Measured Workload Pricing and Sub-Capacity Pricing) are excellent options for most customers. Continue reading
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What’s Next?

This is an open forum for current and potential mainframe executives, managers, technicians, and end users to share information and discuss the benefits of mainframe use in business.

My broad background allows me to address a variety of topics surrounding the mainframe. Because this is an open forum, we will feature technical articles from around the web, as well as bringing in guest writers to provide different perspectives.

Please feel free to comment. We value your input and look forward to having an open conversation with the mainframe community.

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Your Source for Executive Mainframe Intelligence

Welcome to The Executive Suite, a new source for mainframe intelligence from CSI International.

In this blog, we’ll provide unbiased counsel from an executive point of view, as well as articles from around the web that you may find  helpful.

Busy executives typically spend weeks or months poring over data to make decisions regarding IT. We’ll consolidate information in a single location and complement it with the expertise of the best and brightest in the mainframe industry. Let us help you reap larger dividends on your mainframe investment.