As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe and within the U.S., the programming language COBOL has been thrust into the national spotlight. State and government systems have been inundated with unemployment claims, and these systems, which are written in COBOL, are unfortunately buckling under the pressure.
However, COBOL may not be entirely to blame. The 60-year-old programming language is highly reliable and trusted by many industries, including banking and finance, insurance, and government. The fact is, these systems are being overrun by a staggering rise in traffic that could not have been predicted prior to the pandemic.
Now that the risk of legacy systems written in COBOL has been exposed, organizations must modernize these systems for present and future circumstances. Modernization can mean integrating these systems to modern applications or even a partial migration to the cloud.
“You’re not changing the COBOL system, you’re just enabling it by creating new functionality around the outside,” said Stephen Hassett, president of GT Software, in his recent CIO Dive interview.
Modernizing COBOL through integration can help increase its productivity and scalability, all while maintaining its inherent stability.
“A critical element to the best path to modernization is creating that connectivity and not trying to make those legacy systems do new things that they weren’t designed to do,” Hassett said.
Additionally, simply throwing bodies at the problem is not the best solution. It can take weeks for new employees to understand COBOL’s verbose structure, which will only complicate the issue.
GT Software’s Ivory can help modernize COBOL systems. It can reduce the labor requirements for new mainframe integrations that are plaguing the current systems by 80-90%. It combines drag and drop capabilities with a no-code platform to allow organizations to maximize the value of their existing resources.
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