Mainframes have a reputation for being old-fashioned and something that most companies want to get away from, and the only things holding them back are the high risks and costs associated with migrating to another platform.
Based on all the mainframe customers we at Right People Group have been working with our perspective is that this can be true, but mostly it is actually not true, because of the numerous key advantages modern mainframe systems deliver.
To warm you up, here is a short speech about the modern mainframe and what it offers:
Cobol and PL1
The two most common programming languages used with mainframe systems at Right People Group’s customers are Cobol and PL1. In Europe, there are many skilled IT people that are specialised in Cobol and PL1, but many of them are in their 50’s or 60’s, and there are more people with these skills going out of the job market than young people being educated in them.
However, it is possible to get experts in Cobol and PL1 in the freelance market, and we see that the hourly rates for true specialists in these fields are very competitive.
Let us dig deeper into what Cobol actually is:
Migration from Cobol to Java
Right People Group have solved multiple requests for companies that needed to migrate large systems from Cobol to Java.
This task has earlier been extremely hard and very risky, but a lot has happened in the last 5-10 years. Today, we see that both costs and risks are on a level where there is a strong business case for many migrations.
The key reason for this is that automatic translation tools have improved significantly and, secondly, that many of these projects have been done in recent years, and therefore the experience in how to execute these projects has increased.
Migration from Cobol to Java is further explained in the following video:
System and Data migration
When migrating from one system to another, there are many things to take into account. Our experience from expert migration consultants is that the education and preparation of the users are key elements that are often not given the needed attention, even though they are crucial for the success of the new system.
The most complex part of a system migration is the actual migration of data from the old to the new system. Let us take a closer look at data migration best practices in the below video:
Data Quality and Master Data Management
Some of the world’s most valuable companies such as Google and Facebook offer free services and earn the profits based on the data they collect. This is an example of the value of data. More and more companies are becoming aware of the value data represent, and they use the available data to optimize the business in increasingly sophisticated ways.
However, if the quality of the data is not sufficiently good, then using data for making key decisions becomes a very bad idea.
To manage and use an organisation’s data is not an easy task, and the larger the organisation is and the more complex processes it has, the harder it gets.
There are data quality tools and master data management tools that can help companies in this process. However, the implementation of these tools is not simple, partly because there are very many non-technical decisions that need to be taken in the implementation.
Therefore, the best consultants in this field have both a strong technical understanding of systems, tools and data, but they also have strong business understanding and good communication skills.
Let us round off by watching this video about what data quality and master data management is and how the data quality tools and the master data management tools work:
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