Consumer demand for instant 24-hour access to personal bank data has taken the financial world in a new direction in less than one generation. Not only do bank IT departments now rival those of software development companies, but banking networks and infrastructure are at least as complex as a tech firm’s. Personal financial information has become one of the most protected and heavily regulated types of data in the world, and security measures and compliance programs consume the largest percentage of a financial institution’s IT budget.
Knowing all this, it’s no wonder the “rip and replace” fad of the early 2000’s never materialized in the banking world. With everyone assuming the turn of the millennium meant “out with the old and in with the new,” companies were ready to rip the mainframes out of their infrastructure to prepare for whatever was next. But what came next never really materialized — or continued to prove inferior to the sheer processing power of the mainframe, which remains the only real choice for high-demand business computing.