A while ago I wrote an article that suggested that the minimum number of platforms that many companies could hope to optimize onto would be two – their mid-range platform of choice and the mainframe. For the foreseeable future they are not going to get down to one common platform – that would mean either getting rid of the mainframe or moving the distributed workloads onto the mainframe. Oddly, the latter option is actually possible although the former isn’t for many companies.
I am spending 2½ days with some of our customers this week discussing product strategy and of course the cloud is a topic of great interest. I realized that if I was a gambling man and was asked to predict the most likely way that a company would get to one on-premise platform this would be my prediction:
Mainframe and off-premise cloud
Think about it – there are hardly any systems left that companies would not move to the cloud except those that contain their most valuable, sensitive and protected data. You know, the kind of content that the company could go bankrupt without, the stuff that needs to be available 100% of the time…sound familiar?
So the model is quite simple:
- Get your compensation liked to the savings that you can bring to IT
- Move anything of high value onto the mainframe
- Get the rest out of the datacenter and into the cloud
- Close your massively expensive data center
This might just sound like a Mainframe Bigot's over idealist view of the world and to be fair it probably is except companies are really pushing to close their in-house data centers and I heard someone quote that by 2020 over 90% of the IT spend will not be in centralized IT services. Maybe this is a model that if we just aimed to achieve we could make some significant savings without reducing service levels.