Marking a stunning rate of attrition over just 12 months, a poll of over 500 US chief financial officers finds that the respondents on average say that just over 60% of all their applications are running on a mainframe, down from about 70% the previous year. Re-engineering initiatives rose even more dramatically, to 4.4 per […]
Marking a stunning rate of attrition over just 12 months, a poll of over 500 US chief financial officers finds that the respondents on average say that just over 60% of all their applications are running on a mainframe, down from about 70% the previous year. Re-engineering initiatives rose even more dramatically, to 4.4 per respondent in 1992 from 1.6 per respondent in 1991. The polling was done by Deloitte & Touche and the finding is contained in the results of its fifth annual survey on Leading Trends in Information Services, Newsbytes reports. Last year ended on a note of cautious optimism, according to the survey – after three years of persistent malaise, the economy showed some faint signs of restored vitality, leaving information executives more hopeful than in the past. Other trends that stood out in the survey as far as Newsbytes was concerned included a much higher interest in Windows and Windows NT than in OS/2, an accelerating movement toward superminis, workstations and personal computers, and that big increase in the number of business re-engineering projects under way. About four times as many of the respondents rated Windows and Windows NT as more important to their companies than OS/2, and in many industries, only NT and Windows were of real interest. According to the survey, well over 80% of the executives in financial services, manufacturing, food, consumer products, distribution, health care, and publishing found Windows and Windows NT to be more important than OS/2, although this was the view of only about 60% of the survey participants from the energy, oil and gas sectors. Interest in Windows and NT was also less marked in the transport, insurance, retail, and banking and savings industries. Re-engineering applications for modern environements was most extensive in the fields where it has held sway longest, approaching six per respondent in manufacturing. The moves were much less numerous in service businesses, especially in financial services, banking and insurance, which with airlines are likely to be the last bastians of the mainframe. But in manufacturing, most of the re-engineering efforts now fall within service areas – such as customer service, accounting and finance, and order processing perhaps because the manufacturing and product development sides of these businesses have already been re-engineered. But, as most such surveys are finding, expectations failed to live up to reality and when asked to rate the expected benefits and actual benefits of re-engineering on a scale of one to 10, the executives tended to rank the expected benefits about one to two points higher than the actuality.
The percentage of applications using client-server technology ranged from only about 1% in distribution to just over 10% in financial services. In 1994, though, executives in the distribution sector are expecting more than 20% of their applications to be client-server-based. Those in the financial services sector predict that figure to be over 25%. Only about 50% of respondents overall are now using software engineering now, but nearly 80% expect to be using it by next year. But the same respondents projected, on average, a rise of only 1% in departmental budgets for 1993, the Deloitte & Touche survey found – and software engineering is costly.