Data infrastructure optimization, availability & security software
Data integration & quality software
The Next Wave of technology & innovation

6 Industries Where Mainframes are Still King

Ever wonder why companies like IBM are still selling mainframes? Hint: It’s not because they’re living in the past. It’s because the mainframe is still crucial in a number of industries.

It’s telling that mainframes are important not only because some companies are still using the mainframe systems they bought years ago and have yet to decommission, but also because businesses are still investing in brand-new mainframes – such as IBM’s z13, a refrigerator-sized machine capable of processing 2.5 billion transactions per day.

Industries Where Mainframes Still Matter

Why are companies like IBM still investing huge amounts of money developing mainframe systems? Why are businesses keeping the mainframes they have and even investing in more?

Getting the most out of your mainframe

The short answer is that they remain the only type of hardware capable of efficiently handling the huge volume of transactions that are a common part of business operations in many industries today.

The long answer is that mainframes are still a crucial resource in industries like the following:


Banks of all types need to process enormous volumes of transactions. Investment banks prioritize high-frequency trading and need to react instantaneously to changes in financial markets. Plain-old retail banking, which revolves around credit card transactions, ATM withdrawals, and online account updates, means banks of all types need to process enormous volumes of transactions. In both contexts, mainframes allow banks to process data on a scale that commodity servers can’t handle.

Related customer story: Global Financial Firm Controls Costs on IT Operations


Insurance companies live and die on data – a lot of it. Data helps them assess risk, set prices and invest in the right markets. Insurers depend on mainframes to make sure they can handle the data that drives their business.

Related customer story: IT Operational Efficiency Achieved by Major Insurance Provider


Healthcare, too, is an industry where data is now king – and so, by extension, are mainframes. Mainframes power the secure, compliant, high-volume and highly available data storage and transactions that make modern healthcare tick.

Related customer story: Client-focused Company Meets Compliance Rules and More


From the IRS to the National Weather Service, government agencies of all types need to store and analyze huge amounts of data. Mainframes are still helping them to do it.

Related customer story: Solving IRS Pub 1075 Compliance Issues and Recovering $


You don’t need to be a pilot to know that flight networks are complicated and ever-changing. That’s why airlines – not to mention government regulators that oversee airlines and even aircraft manufacturers – rely on mainframes to help ensure that people and planes arrive where they are supposed to in the most efficient way possible.


Traditional retailers have long used the mainframe to help process transactions and keep track of inventories. But it’s not only old brick-and-mortar stores that can make use of these machines. Online retailers, too, can benefit from the ability of modern mainframe systems to handle enormous volumes of transactions.

Related: Big Data Industries: 5 Industries Being Reshaped by Data Analytics

Mainframes Rule: 6 Industries Where the Mainframes is Still King


The folks who have predicted the demise of the mainframe have turned out to be wrong time and again, and there’s no sign that they’ll be right anytime soon. Mainframes remain a core part of the IT infrastructure used by companies that span a diverse set of industries.

Read “Getting the Most Out of Your Mainframe” to learn how to offload, accelerate and lower cost while leaving the primary CPU with more headroom for the organization’s core business applications.

Related Posts