About "(Blank) Needs a Mainframe"

By now Mainframe Blog readers have seen several "...needs a mainframe" posts. We try to set some trends here, and that's the whole point about these posts.

The central premise (if you'll pardon the pun) of mainframe computing is about quality. Sure, you can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and branch on a PC or an iPod. Lots of computers are Turing-complete, including mainframes. But if you have a business or government to run, and if at least some of your business processes are important, then, quite simply, you need a mainframe — and you need to use it. Otherwise, it's going to be much harder to deliver the security, reliability, and other qualities real people increasingly demand.

The information technology industry solved these quality problems a long time ago, and the solutions to those problems involved relying on the highest quality infrastructure (i.e. mainframes) combined with centrally focused, highly disciplined operations and change management (i.e. mainframe-related development and operations), end-to-end. We know that formula works. Yet there are way too many businesses, governments, and their IT organizations that have lost the plot, implementing obscenely complex, Rube Goldberg-esque application architectures to fulfill even the most common and critical business functions. Such architectures are costly, fragile, and vulnerable.

Unfortunately, as we've seen over just the past few weeks, quality is deteriorating. Major businesses are crashing and burning, hard, with security and availability crises causing major disruptions. Public "cloud computing" isn't going very far unless quality improves dramatically and quickly. Only the fit will survive: the organizations that have or adopt mainframes and actually use them for their critical business processes, end-to-end. It's really that simple: "Fit for Quality."

One technology company that distinguishes itself on quality is the world's largest technology company: Apple. Here's a 30 second video example from 1995:

Apple is a remarkable company. Apple has mastered the "it just works" segment of the consumer technology market. As technology (and life) gets ever more complicated, and as the value of time increases, more and more people value technology like Apple's. The same is true in the world's data centers. Businesses and governments want solutions that deliver secure, reliable service. Those qualities are becoming more important every day. And I think IBM ought to press home its advantages and repeat this simple phrase:

Get a mainframe... and use it!

by Timothy Sipples June 14, 2011 in Business Continuity, Security


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Another potential "(Blank) Needs a Mainframe" story - I don't know anything about the system, but it sounds like they could use some help:


Posted by: Kel | Jun 15, 2011 9:26:45 AM

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