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In-House COBOL Knowledge Is Necessary

By Destination Z posted Mon December 23, 2019 03:29 PM

Baby boomers retire. Mainframe applications need support. Few understand mainframe applications. Few are interested.

Organizations worldwide use mainframe application consultants to save the day. Consulting knowledge, experience and expertise provide needed mainframe application support. Organizations remain responsive, competitive and on the leading edge. Support problems are resolved. Or are they?

Application knowledge, or lack of it, is driving the need for consultants. As people who understand mainframe applications retire, it’s only natural to turn to consultants. Outside mainframe application experts are eager to acquire the knowledge necessary to deliver the mainframe application support they promise—after-all, their job is to learn and support the applications. The internal application support team steps back. Internal knowledge shrinks and external knowledge grows. What’s wrong with this picture?

The consulting model creates a dilemma: dependency. This is troubling because the very problem driving organizations to the consulting model can get worse. When consultants support the applications, fewer internal resources acquire the hands-on knowledge required to support these applications. Is there an alternative?

Teaching someone to write and debug COBOL code is wildly different than preparing someone to maintain, support and enhance a dynamic 25-year-old COBOL application suite comprised of thousands of programs and millions of lines of code. Application-based COBOL training is needed. Training that teaches the internal team how the latest release of your COBOL mainframe application really works—not in theory, not by looking at static source code, but by looking at the path followed by the code as it executes.

Use breakthrough training techniques to free your organization from mainframe application consultants and accelerate application knowledge acquisition. Prepare the internal team to take over mainframe application support and bring it back in house. It can be done.

Bob has been marketing software and hardware solutions for over 30 years, most recently as SVP of Sales and Marketing at PathPoint Software.