Jun 16 ’15

Why Major Banks and Financial Institutions are Growing Their Use of Mainframes

by Bryan Smith 

There are many arguments that the mainframe is on its way out, and they all have one thing in common: they are all wrong. And nowhere is this truer than in the financial services industry, which is dominated by mainframes.

Isn't it curious that all major banks and financial institutions have mainframe computers at the center of their technology strategies? All of them. That's because mainframes are able to provide functionality and reliability that no other platform can match. These include:

IBM's Information Management System (IMS) was developed for the Apollo space program and has been a reliable component of mainframe data management ever since. The biggest recent growth for IMS has been in China, particularly for its largest banks. Many people outside of Asia might not know the names of these institutions, but they dwarf the largest banks based in the United States. And they are all powered by mainframes. Of course, they all have other platforms as well, but all of those other systems surround the mainframe as the system of record. On this side of the Pacific, large financial institutions are also growing their mainframe capabilities.  (Disclosure:  My employer is a development partner with IBM.)

When the world's largest banks decide to entrust their valuable data—not to mention their security and their reputations—to a particular platform, it's worth looking at why. The bottom line is that nothing has ever been able to equal mainframes when it comes to supporting global financial institutions. So, if you haven't looked at the mainframe in a while, maybe it's time to take a second look.


Publisher's Note: This Blog post by Bryan Smith was originally published in Network World (http://bit.ly/1cluQgy) and is used here with permission.