Offsite Mainframe Hosting

July 19, 2022  |  Andrew Dvirnyk

Mainframe and mainframe solutions are expensive. There is no getting around that. At the same time, even though some argue against utilizing mainframe at all, it remains a powerful tool in the technology space. And necessary even for businesses who cannot reasonably afford upkeep and maintenance.

One way to save on costs associated with mainframe is to integrate microservices and APIs. However, those digital applications, and the security solutions they require, cost money. The hard reality is that there are organizations who would benefit from mainframe, but simply cannot afford to host a mainframe system in-house.

For those organizations, offsite mainframe hosting emerges as an affordable solution. It connects them to the power of mainframe. But it saves them the bulk of the expenses. The idea of hosting your infrastructure offside through another company might intimidate you. But let’s take a look at how to think differently about infrastructure hosting. And why it’s not so radical at all, in the technology space.

MFaaS and SaaS

Welcome to the era of mainframe as a service. More and more frequently in the technology space, we see the value of shifting from product to service models. The hallmark of this aspect of our industry, is, of course, software as a service. Better known as SaaS, software as a service enables users to access and utilize software and take advantage of innovations and upgrades without having to purchase new hardware or reconfigure systems. SAP is one of the best examples of SaaS.

If you are an SAP customer, you understand the benefits of SaaS from a cost point of view and a performance point of view.

Outsourcing Support

What you also know is that SaaS makes it possible to outsource support. Outsourcing support empowers you to make the most of your technology investments.

In fact, when you take a look at the scope of your organization’s investments in technology, outsourcing vs in-house support is among the smartest ways to amp up your capabilities and your speed. The key for evaluating outsourced support is to determine the level of expertise the outsource team brings.

When you engage with an expert team, through outsourcing, you gain access greater resources than you could acquire in-house. And more affordable resources, more quickly, than you can build internally.

What is MFaaS?

Using SaaS and the value of outsourcing as a backdrop, let’s look at what this means for mainframe and your organizational needs. Like SaaS, MFaaS takes a service (rather than product) approach to hosting mainframe.

Offsite data centers that manage mainframe provide everything from automated services management to disaster recovery. Some of what you can expect from offsite mainframe hosting includes operational and technical support, in addition to faster data storage and processing speeds than your organization might be able to afford independently.

Additionally, offsite mainframe hosting provides security, and, in most cases, assists with migrating and transferring your mainframe data.

Offsite Mainframe Hosting and Business Continuity

Even if cost savings is not your primary driver, it is worthwhile to think about the value of offsite mainframe hosting. From a business continuity perspective, consider the benefits of hosting mainframe data separately from your business location.

Doing so eliminates a considerable amount of stress related to emergency preparedness and disaster recovery. So, while the idea of hosting mainframe data offsite may initially feel like you are taking risk (similarly to outsourcing), in fact, you are opting into a new line of defense. By diversifying your location, you are potentially helping to protect your data, and the backbone of your enterprise.

How to Select a Mainframe Hosting Partner

As with all IT vendor, or partner, decisions, it is important to do your research. To help, we have put together a list of tips for selecting IT partners. These best practices apply to choosing a mainframe hosting partner, too.

Choosing a technology partner can be risky. When you do so, you are trusting someone else with some of your organization’s most sensitive, valuable data. And you are relying on that partner to deliver for you when it matters most. Having been on both sides of the technology partner relationship, we find that the following 4 steps help you to select a partner, and to verify that partner’s trustworthiness.

1. Confirm Expertise

Whether you are outsourcing software support, or looking for searching for mainframe offsite hosting, you need to know that the company with whom you are partnering has the expertise to deliver in a way that meets your needs.

Ask for certifications. Look at existing or previous projects. And do your research. Learn what expertise is required. Then make sure that the partner you choose offers what you need.

2. Ask for Reviews and Recommendations

Take the next step and find out what existing and previous clients have to say about the vendor you are considering. Read testimonials about your prospective partner. But don’t stop there. Dust off your old networking skills. Pick up the phone or jump on LinkedIn to reach out to colleagues and contacts in your industry and others to find out if they have worked with the company or companies you are considering. Ask them about their experiences.

3. Ask Questions

Speaking of asking questions, find out what you need to know from your prospective technology partner. The presentation they give you never tells the whole story. They probably have amazing client stories and best practice tips to share. Remember, these are real people, who, in most cases, really love what they do. Find out what it is really like to work with them by asking questions and giving them a chance to share not only their expertise, but their experiences.

4. Engage in Conversation

Then, keep the conversation going. Trust is the mark of a lasting, valuable partnership. And we build trust by having real conversations. That means asking questions and listening to the answers. It also means being honest about what you need, want, and can afford, both now and in the future. Relationships that start with open, honest conversations become relationships that are mutually beneficial and reliable.

Learn More About Offsite Mainframe Hosting

If you would like to know more about offsite mainframe hosting for your organization, contact IBA Group. We are happy to connect with you and point you in the right direction.

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