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Putting Legacy Systems at the Heart of IoT

Editor's Comments: I just finished reading the IDC report, The Business Value of the Connected Mainframe for Digital Transformation. It is a refreshing look at how legacy systems can become a key element of your digital transformation strategy. When I read this article it really drove home that CIO's need to invest in understanding the massive modernization that the mainframe has undergone over the last few years and its current capabilities.

According to IDC, "The question is not whether or not the mainframe is part of the future of IT, it is really about the fit-for-purpose of platforms. The mainframe excels at certain tasks, and given proper transformation, organizations can realize the full potential the mainframe can offer."

The good news is that with a connected mainframe organizations can invest in digital transformation without having to spend all their time on high risk system replacement.


Amidst all the talk about connected devices, big data and business intelligence, businesses are being bombarded with the message “disrupt or be disrupted.” Recent research has revealed that 81% of CIOs believe legacy systems are having a negative impact on their businesses, but although there is clearly a case for infrastructure investment, the need to disrupt needn’t be tantamount to huge expenditure. As Jason Kay, Chief Commercial Officer of IMS Evolve, explains, if the internet of things solution you are considering for your business requires any kind of rip and replace, maybe you should think twice before taking the plunge as your existing infrastructure is actually smarter than you think.

The internet of things is at the heart of many digital transformation strategies — streamlining processes and improving efficiencies. Yet, for those looking to reap the rewards of IoT, ripping out supposedly outdated systems and replacing them with new, state-of-the art facilities won’t do the business any favours. Not only will this exercise be extremely costly, but it’ll also remove the infrastructure that is already there — infrastructure that holds a mountain of data that can be put to work improving the business.

The potential business benefits of the internet of things are truly transformational; not only to increase productivity and save money, but to generate more by adding value to the business’s core purpose. This is fantastic in principle, but how many are willing to explore this potential if there’s a huge initial investment attached to it? Take refrigeration and cooling with the food retail industry as an example. It seems unlikely that replacing every in-store fridge, freezer or food delivery van is going to appeal to a multiple retailer whose core business focus is selling produce, as the cost will far outweigh the immediate benefits. For businesses undergoing digital transformation, rather than investing in brand new equipment, the answer lies in existing infrastructure. The data that is an increasingly vital part of many enterprises’ digital strategies is already being generated, businesses simply need a way of extracting, understanding it and releasing its value. Read the whole article.

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