Mainframe Software; Hard to say goodbye.....
A long time ago, I worked as a programmer. I just started, was young and eager and wrote applications in Cobol (Batch) and a language called CPG (CICS). It worked, programs performed well, but I got frustrated by the speed at which I could develop new applications. I was asked by my manager to look for alternatives and found them. One was Easytrieve (Plus) and the other was Gener/OL, a 4GL for CICS.
They came at the right time, I liked the advantages these languages offered and they helped me build my career. Up to this day, I get agitated when someone says something negative about one of these products, and especially about Easytrieve. Strange, because I have not used it professionally for over a decade. So when I hear people talk about some of their favorite tools in an almost fanatic way, I understand. Believe me, I do.
But we (IT people) DO get a bit too excited sometimes. And times change. These days, we are asked to run IT more efficiently. That’s it. Of course there is still room for emotion, but not the type of emotion we sometimes still see today. We must run IT more efficiently and this simply means that the toolbox we use to manage the mainframe needs cleaning up. Products have evolved over the past decades, and it’s not rare to find overlap in functionality in sometimes 3-4 different products. Cleaning up means saying goodbye to things you have cherished for a long time. Just cleaning up will already save money. Standardizing on a few vendors instead of the sometimes 40 you have now saves even more. Reductions in support costs, less vendor management, higher discounts, etc. And these are just the beginning.
Often, competitive tools have advantages now that were not important at the time we acquired them. At times when buying more MIPS was a standard procedure, we did not care about the fact that one product was more efficient than the other. There may be overlap because functions were added to the products you have owned for so many years. You may use functionality that was never really meant to do the things you do with them while (by now) you own products that have that particular functionality as a standard feature.. To cut a long story short, a fresh and thorough look at your toolbox will show lots of areas for improvement and efficiency. All YOU have to do is switch off the emotion and think more like a business person. After all, we ARE expected to run IT as a Business….
For those still in doubt: think about your toolbox or garage at home. I bet you still have special tools & spare parts in there for things you no longer have. For cars, equipment in your house, PC components etc. All taking up space, but of no real use anymore…
To see what other advantages software rationalization can bring you; watch this video.
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