Commissioned by Micro Focus

Published September 2021

Executive Summary

While many believe that mainframes are no longer relevant in an increasingly cloud-focused world, nothing could be further from the truth. Mainframes process the vast majority of credit card and other financial transactions worldwide, they handle the majority of production IT workloads, and they are more secure and cost-efficient than other computing platforms. Moreover, many of the highest-traffic websites use mainframes for backend processing because of their ability to allow simultaneous access to applications and data by large numbers of users.

Decision makers should consider accessing the mainframe from the cloud in the same manner they consider moving desktop applications to the cloud. Just like moving from desktop versions of Microsoft Office to Office 365 enables users to do the same work in the cloud, moving the terminal emulator (or, more appropriately, host or mainframe access) from the desktop to the cloud enables users to do the same work they were doing before, but more efficiently. Nothing changes on the mainframe, only the platform from which the mainframe is accessed.

This need for remote/cloud access was demonstrated with the global pandemic and ensuing lockdowns during 2020 and 2021. Organizations that were able to provide remote mainframe access for employees were more resilient and better able to maintain their normal work processes. Those who needed to access the corporate mainframe, and could do so from the cloud, were more easily and quickly able to get back to work when employees were forced home or into other remote work situations.