In these days of hybrid cloud working with some applications working best in a cloud environment and some that work best on the mainframe, there’s going to come a time when mainframers and cloud people are going to be sitting in the same room and the way computing is paid for will be discussed.
The cloud guys will say pricing on the cloud is straightforward and you only pay for what you use. They might also say that moving to the cloud means there will be a cost reduction because less physical space is needed, less hardware is required, there’s a reduction in costly high-end software, and fewer support personnel are needed. They will also say that there’s a wide variety of access to the latest technology, plus a common framework across the application infrastructure. In addition, ‘shelfware’ can be avoided because you use only what you need. They may also suggest that there are advantages in terms of security. For example, infrastructure must comply with industry standards, and data is less prone to employee theft. In terms of reliability, there’s built-in redundancy, and most providers guarantee 99.99% uptime. Plus, cloud technical skills are plentiful making staff cheaper.
The mainframe people might suggest that with the cloud there can be cost creep in terms of computing resources and departmental use/abuse. There is very likely to be downtime resulting from communication failure and Internet drops. There are security issues. It does not guard against weak digital security methods. Perhaps most significantly, there are performance issues when it comes to traditional batch workloads and complex transactions if they are migrated to the cloud. There’s also an issue with cloud vendor lock because vendors highly encourage their own products, making it difficult to move off any particular platform, once you are there.