Screw cloud: Coogans upgrades mainframe instead


Server room in datacenter

blog To paraphrase Francis Urquhart, you might very well think that no Australian organisation would be spending much money these days upgrading their old mainframes or deploying new ones. Isn’t everything about cloud computing these days, after all? Well, true, it is, but that hasn’t stopped some Australian groups from hanging onto their old mainframe infrastructure and even pushing it further. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in February (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“Tasmanian retailer Coogans has bucked the trend towards cloud computing and upgraded its Unisys mainframe systems for its mission-critical applications and online infrastructure … [Coogans] has been a loyal client of the IT provider and its predecessor, Burroughs, since before 1965.”

I’d say the Coogans case provides an excellent example of where there’s absolutely no need to go through a fundamental IT infrastructure change, when the organisation’s existing infrastructure can be kept stable and extended to keep up with the functionality required from its operations today. Retail doesn’t change much from an IT perspective (although RFID may eventually change this), and above all what retailers want is stability and a low administration cost overhead. Mainframe technology certainly provides this. On the other hand … we can’t see the mainframe quite surviving yet another full decade of technological change at Coogans. I guess time will tell.


    • Choice! Absolutely choice.
      Unfortunately it shows what the level of the MSM media has become, along with the level of intelligence of a lot of Australians. *cringe*
      Thankfully we have the 5th Estate to save us from the stupidity of the 4th Estate.
      Sincere thanks Renai. Your work is appreciated.

  1. Fair enough … better the devil you know to run the applications you know I guess … but it begs many question’s about Coogan’s broader digital services strategy and their future vision for service innovation … mobile, online retailing, the use of social media etc. Wouldn’t mainframe based systems be more-likely-than-not to act as an unwelcome fixed-cost and as a constraint on the company’s strategic directions and competitiveness vs. more Internet-age platforms? As my kids like to say … “just putting it out there!”

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