The Mainframe Is Dead. Long Live the Mainframe!


  • Glen Sagers Illinois State University
  • Kathleen Ball Illinois State University
  • Bryan Hosack Illinois State University
  • Doug Twitchell Illinois State University
  • David Wallace Illinois State University


Mainframe, Enterprise Computing, Enterprise Systems, Education, COBOL


Many have predicted the death of the mainframe over the last 10 to 20 years, yet it is still is a large part of enterprise computing today. Companies not only use the mainframe for “legacy” applications, but are also developing new ap- plications for mainframes, resulting in a rise in mainframe sales. These increases, along with an aging mainframe work- force and academia’s move away from mainframe-related curricula and courses, has resulted in a shortage of workers trained in mainframe applications. In this paper we report on a U.S.-based survey of industry and academia that con-firms the existence of this problem. We conclude with some possible future research directions to explore as possible so- lutions to this potential dilemma.

Author Biographies

Glen Sagers, Illinois State University

Glen Sagers works as an Associate Professor at the School of Information Technology at the Illinois State University. His primary focus has been teaching the telecommunications and networking classes among others.

Kathleen Ball, Illinois State University

Kathleen Ball she is the Director of Decision Support at Springfield Clinic and has experiences as a programmer and analyst.

Bryan Hosack, Illinois State University

Bryan Hosack works as an Associate Professor at at the School of Information Technology at the Illinois State University. He has been a faculty member st ISU since the fall of 2006. His primary focus has been teaching the undergraduate database processing courses.

Doug Twitchell, Illinois State University

Doug Twitchell works as an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University. He received my Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona in 2005 and holds a B.S. in Business Management and Masters of In- formation Systems Management from Brigham Young University. His interests include information assurance and security, text mining, conversational analysis and profiling, machine learning, and natural language processing.

David Wallace, Illinois State University

David Wallace works as an Associate Professor at the School of Information Technology at the Illinois State University. His primary focus has been program- ming, Web-programming and Informations Systems Analysis/Design.


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How to Cite

Sagers, G., Ball, K., Hosack, B., Twitchell, D. and Wallace, D. 2018. The Mainframe Is Dead. Long Live the Mainframe!. AIS Transactions on Enterprise Systems. 2, 1 (Aug. 2018).