BPER Banca, one of Italy’s largest banks, has migrated about 30 services from its mainframes to a Linux environment with tools from LzLabs and technical and business support services from CWS. The applications chosen for the first phase of migration control BPER’s front end customer portals, used to manage its retail banking account access.
Etliche Unternehmen nutzen Mainframes für unternehmenskritische Geschäftsprozesse. Die Entwicklung und Modernisierung der dazugehörigen Applikationen verschlangen Unsummen. Fachkräftemangel, Vendor-Lock-in und die enormen Betriebskosten sind zusätzliche Herausforderungen. Mittels eines Software-defined Mainframes (SDM) können sich Organisationen schrittweise von ihrer Mainframe-Hardware lösen, weiterhin Legacy-Applikationen nutzen und so das Risiko für den geschäftskritischen Betrieb minimieren.
COBOL has hit the news in 2020 in unexpected ways. In November, popular longform story aggregator Longform.org led with a prominent piece on the “code that controls your money” — “COBOL is a coding language older than Weird Al Yankovic. The people who know how to use it are often just as old. It underpins the entire financial system,” wrote Clive Thompson.
Earlier in the year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy drew international media attention with a plaintive request for help knocking the back-end systems powering New Jersey’s emergency care system into shape: “Literally, we have systems that are 40 years-plus old, and there’ll be lots of postmortems,” he said, as New Jersey ran into issues modernising the system . And one of them on our list will be how did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers?” Murphy told the world.
The COBOL skills gap is neither as extreme nor as straightforward as you might imagine. Here’s what companies can do to keep their COBOL systems running, and what would-be COBOL developers should know before taking the plunge.
Early in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey state government had a very specific IT staffing need—and it got a lot more publicity than hiring moves usually get. The recently passed CARES Act had added $600 to weekly unemployment payments nationwide, but New Jersey’s archaic unemployment software, written in COBOL, couldn’t incorporate the extra money without reprogramming, and there was nobody on staff capable of doing the job.
As the wave of migration of applications to the cloud continues, we sometimes forget that this is not one problem but rather a multitude of problems, each with its own special issues and considerations. That leaves room for companies to dial in on opportunities that the broader solution sets don’t handle. LzLabs is one of those companies targeting a unique enterprise computing niche that many people have forgotten is still out there: mainframes. With us today to talk about LzLabs’ unique position within enterprise cloud migration is Executive Chairman Mark Cresswell.