UK companies are moving rather more rapidly to distributed computing from mainframes than those wedded to the latter had feared, according to a survey of information technology users by Manchester-based National Computing Centre Ltd. The survey, based on 276 responses from Computing Centre members, showed a decrease in the proportion of respondents with a mainframe […]
UK companies are moving rather more rapidly to distributed computing from mainframes than those wedded to the latter had feared, according to a survey of information technology users by Manchester-based National Computing Centre Ltd. The survey, based on 276 responses from Computing Centre members, showed a decrease in the proportion of respondents with a mainframe to 47% for 1994-95, from 56% two years ago, and predictions for 1997-98 showed only 27% still expected to have one. Bad news for the likes of IBM Corp, frantically developing the new CMOS multiprocessors in an effort to persuade people that they are not really mainframes at all? But if the NCC report is anything to go by, there will still be a hard core of mainframe users well into the next millenium, but all the signs are that they will be users who can only run their work on large monolithic machines like the Hitachi Ltd Skyline, and will not be persuaded by IBM Corp to switch to clustered microprocessor machines. Many of these, such as major national banks with large transaction processing requirements, will, according to a Wall Street Journal report in May of this year (CI No 2,656) continue to need higher monolithic mainframe MIPS. Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG has said it will probably stop producing mainframes in the future, (CI No 2,699) and IBM’s answer is clustering. Whichever path those questioned intended to take, the survey showed that spending on information technology, which according to NCC has shown a fall in the past few years, has now stabilised, and 40% of companies expected to spend at least 5% more on computing next year. The survey also addressed the issue of facilities management. Almost 60% of companies said they had considered it for all or part of their activities. However, larger organisations in particular usually invited the in-house department to tender, and the job was kept in-house in 70% of cases. The report said that 17% had considered facilities management for the entire information technology function, but only 2.5% had taken it up, although NCC admitted that where they had, there may be nobody left in the company to answer the questionnaire. Other trends revealed in the report showed a continuing move to Unix and open systems, a rapid increase in networked personal computers, with 70% of companies expecting to have high-speed local area networks in the next two years, and a considerable growth in local net-enabled applications such as groupware and workflow.