Cobol programmers back in demand

Despite what pundits might have led us to believe over the past 20 years, the mainframe is not going to disappear any time soon. What is going to change, however, is the mainframe product environment. Organisations need to have plans in place for either migrating or maintaining their current set-ups in the changing environment.

“Although firms are vocal in their dissatisfaction of the costs of maintaining them, legacy mainframes continue to run core business functions for medium, large, and Global 2000 companies,” said Phil Murphy, principal analyst at Forrester Research.

And yet the prevailing questions concerning moving from the mainframe remain about Cobol versus Java or Cisco versus IBM Websphere, rather than more fundamental issues.

“If a company decides to stick with its current system, then they have to make an investment in ensuring they will still have the required skill sets (eg Cobol) in place within the next 10 years,” said Dale Vecchio, research vice-president at analyst firm Gartner.

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