IT still wants its mainframes

Mainframes are a long way off from being extinct - at least in the eyes of enterprise development managers, according to a survey conducted by Evans Marketing Services.

The study found that 75 per cent of over 400 development or IT managers surveyed are using mainframes, and the majority of the 75 per cent don't expect to migrate away from mainframes in the future, the research firm said. Current data files (30 per cent) and user applications (23 per cent) were among the top factors for using mainframes, Evans Marketing said. Participants worked at companies with more than 2000 employees.

Mainframe reliability was the most mentioned benefit, followed by capacity, said Janel Garvin, vice president of research at Evans Marketing. Enterprise managers "trusted that [their mainframes] would never go down," Garvin said.

Ninety percent of telecommunications managers surveyed will retain their mainframes, followed by banking/financial and real estate/legal/insurance with 80per cent each, she said.

Other findings from the 1999 Enterprise Development Management Issues report:

Windows 95, 98 and NT comprise about 85per cent of client desktops. Managers surveyed anticipate this number to stay the same for the platforms, excluding the addition of Windows 2000, Garvin said. Windows 2000 will comprise 4per cent of client desktops, she said.

More than 70 per cent of managers surveyed said all their software projects were year 2000-compliant, and year 2000 compliance is no longer impacting their development schedules. Some managers (22.6 per cent) said some projects are frozen until after January 1, 2000, and 6.3 per cent said all projects have stopped until after January 1, 2000.

The concept of open-source software has grown on managers, with 60 per cent saying software that includes published application programming interfaces (API) should be open source. However, only 17 per cent said core software, such as operating systems, compilers and servers, will be open source in three years.

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