If you had to guess, what was the most overused word or phrase during the 2008 Presidential Election?

• Maverick

• My friends

• Joe the plumber

• Change

• Historic.

Did you select change? The word is overused in political circles and in corporate IT. How many new initiatives, methodologies, or procedures were subject to change in IT departments last year? Gartner analyst Steve Prentice states, “People resistant to change will not survive changes to the industry” (see www.cobol.com/MainMigLeg/detart.asp?cat=training&bhcp=1).

Despite that dire prediction, legacy systems remain widespread. Many of the oldest legacy databases or file systems are widely used in Fortune 1000 companies. In fact, IMS has existed for more than 40 years. Consider these facts about IMS (from IBM Systems Magazine, “Standing the Test of Time,” April 2008):

• More than 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies use it.

• More than $3 trillion of transactions for a single IMS customer are processed daily.

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