Mainframe Outsourcing Misconception #3: The Transition is Risky and My Business Can’t Afford the Downtime

Misperception #3 is that implementing the mainframe outsourcing arrangement entails a protracted period of downtime: an understandable concern.  In these days of doing more with less, it is usually the case that businesses are more dependent than ever before on the continuous operation of their information systems.  An interruption of any length is a possibility that needs to be considered carefully.

Moreover, transitions to an outsourcing arrangement typically set the tone for the entire outsourcing arrangement.  Disruptions can alienate users, of course, but an uneventful – some would say “transparent” – implementation of the strategy will reassure them about continued or improved service levels.

One way to think about the mainframe transition to a vendor is to liken it to a disaster recovery test.  Production equipment and processes will continue to be executed in your in-house setting while outsourced infrastructure and processes are being tested and validated.  Only after high confidence is reached in the new operating environment should a cutover be scheduled and executed.

For companies that have absolutely no window for downtime, high availability, or mirroring strategies can be used.  These support a seamless transfer of workload to the outsourcing vendor, with instantaneous reversal if any problems are detected.  Though more costly, such a high availability strategy, can eliminate any significant downtime.

Posted by Adrian