As technologists, we are not mainframe fanatic actually. We always face products platforms as objects of technologies, so they are equals in our point of view. Nevertheless, we must be realistic that our main asset is our skills in mainframe technologies, especially in system-level or kernel-level programming which is an expensive asset not easy to have it. Besides, based on our and many other survey results, mainframe still dominates in mission-critical computing applications such as banking and other finance services systems as well as public services and governmental information systems which currently well known as electronic-government or e-government or e-Gov,
Especially in large banking industries, not only in mature countries, even in Indonesia, the number of mainframe sites still higher than any other platform. Currently there are at least 4 mainframe sites in 4 large banks in Indonesia. Compared to the number of each individual non mainframe platform, mainframe is still dominant. No wonder as the mainframe since z version allowing users to put MVS dan Unix applications sitting together in the same host under z/OS operating system. With z/VM operating system, users can even virtualize z/OS and z/Linux as yhr basic shop.
Although many people doubt about the future of mainframe, we believe mainframe will last as long as large-scale computing is still needed. In fact, the need of virtualization for servers farms and the presence of cloud-computing concept provide another opportunity for mainframe. It is indicated by the presence of zBX option in mainframe zEnterprise configuration, which widening mainframe capabilities to virtualize most of non-mainframe platforms including x86-based platforms under z/VM operating system. zBX is the first step for mainframe to dominate the world of virtualization. Coupled with ability of z/VM to unite multiple zEnterprise hosts, position the modern mainframe as the most perfect cloud-computing container. Now, users can plant their servers and enjoy the mainframe essentialities in protection, security and recovery methods without having to change their platform to z/OS.
All the above enhancements are just a start of modern mainframe trend. Tomorrow probably some more things are added. Finally, we believe at the end of the day, mainframe is not a dead end. On the contrary, the mainframe would be the most ideal IT field which will last until the last. Therefore, business around the mainframe will also live longer and become an idol anyway. Application or user-level software businesses will not change much, as mainframe is only a box into wich you virtualize your servers. The growth will be more significant in system-level software, mainly in providing the function of monitoring, control and automation by exploring extra capabilities of hypervisor and hypersocket of z/VM. Unlike application/user-level software, the system-level software requires real skill of mainframe system-level programming. Of course new comers need matriculation fiirst before really dive into it.
Moreover, chances of mainframe system-level software business according to our way of thinking relatively better as in fact not many mainframe people are playing there. Especially for z/OS operating system, the most popular large-scale computing platform which able to accommodate MVS legacy and Unix applications in a single host, either real or virtual, meanwhile, skills around its pilot's cabin is really shortage. All of those reasons convince us that mainframe is the best choice for us to be placed as our main software industry role.