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Happy Birthday – COBOL Turns 60: Episode 1 of 5

November 12, 2019
February 26, 2020

Video with Astadia, CTO, Steve Steuart & Micro Focus Government Solutions, Chief Technologist,  Kevin Hansen

Video Transcription:

Kevin Hanson:
So welcome to the migrating mainframe workloads to the cloud in government discussion today. My name is Kevin Hanson, I'm the Chief Technologist for Micro Focus Government Solutions, and joining me today is Steve Steuart from Astadia. How are you doing, Steve?

Steve Steuart:
I'm pretty good. Thanks a lot for having me here.

Kevin Hanson:
Yeah, thanks for joining me. Do you want to describe a little bit about Astadia?

Steve Steuart:
Yeah. Astadia has been working with alternative computes for close to 30 years, so we've been specializing in the last 18 months of great surge and moving mainframe workloads over to the cloud.

Kevin Hanson:
All right. They've been a strategic partner for Micro Focus for a long time, so we're glad to have you here today, Steve.

Steve Steuart:
Yeah.

Kevin Hanson:
Before we get started, we're going to talk about how we're celebrating COBOL's 60th birthday today.

Steve Steuart:
That's amazing.

Kevin Hanson:
Yeah. It's the common business object language. It's been around for 60 years now, and what do you think has given it so much longevity?

Steve Steuart:
Well, it was dead in the '80s, it was dead in the '90s, it was definitely dead for Y2K, and it's still around, and it'll probably still be around a long time after I'm gone. And a lot of it has to do with, when you talk about how it was originally developed, it was a common business to be able to run on multiple platforms.

Kevin Hanson:
Right.

Steve Steuart:
So it's also the investments that Micro Focus has done to the tool to make it relevant with new technologies today. So it's going to be around for some time.

Kevin Hanson:
Well, and obviously a lot of mainframe workloads that go back 40, 50 years rely on COBOL.

Steve Steuart:
Yeah.

Kevin Hanson:
And now, with the advent of cloud technology and migration over to cloud, do we still see the relevance of COBOL?

Steve Steuart:
Right. It's very relevant. 95% of financial transactions run through COBOL globally. People don't know those little tidbits. Micro Focus has got this great little pamphlet that talks about how COBOL is in everybody's lives when we do ATMs, pay, things like that. But yeah, it's going to be around for a while, and now we're looking at moving to an alternative compute, right? Mainframe capacity exists in the cloud today.

Kevin Hanson:
So with COBOL's 60th birthday, we want to encourage everyone to go to the MicroFocus.com/COBOL-60 website. We have some free information up there about the future of COBOL and where it's heading, so please check that out.

Kevin Hanson:
With COBOL turning 60, Steve, why does it make sense today to migrate these workloads into the cloud?

Steve Steuart:
Right. So the continual investment into the COBOL by Micro Focus allows you to move these workloads quickly into the cloud and take benefit of being Azure native or AWS native, cloud native applications. So that's why the time is now. Probably the biggest thing is the computes there. People think about the mainframe white lab coats running around, these big huge machines. Well, that's in the cloud. I always point to Amazon. You buy stuff, and my wife uses Amazon way too much, but that has procurement, and logistics, and millions of users, and thousands of transactions a day. They're not on a mainframe, so you're able to move your workload today.

Kevin Hanson:
Fantastic. I think in government as well, there's been a shift in policy and laws around migrating workloads to the cloud, particularly around the cloud smart strategy to make it easier for government agencies to plan and then eventually move those workloads to cloud. There's also the MGT Act, the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which makes it easier to provide funding and fund those initiatives to the cloud.

Steve Steuart:
Yeah. The government is embracing the cloud and providing agencies tools to move and help them and motivate them to move to the cloud. When you're going from a proprietary computing platform, the costs are higher. To commodity based computing platforms that cloud provides, and the biggest problem has always been, "Will it perform? Does it run the same? Can it do it? Is it secure?" And the answer is yes to all.

Kevin Hanson:
Yeah, so now's the time, huh?

Steve Steuart:
Now is the time. What are you doing? What are you waiting for? Let's go.

Kevin Hanson:
That's right.

Steve Steuart:
The water is fine. Jump in.

Kevin Hanson:
All right. Great.

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