Believe it or not, most of our nation’s banking and government systems run on a 60-year-old coding language called COBOL, and it is starting to show it’s age.  As we have all heard in the news, there is an increased demand being placed on the unemployment eligibility systems, used at the state level by many to file for their benefits. This is just one of the many applications which are built on this decades-old technology and buckling under the pressure being placed on the system.

Today, nearly half the world’s banking systems run on COBOL, according to Reuters, and more than 80% of card-based transactions use the code.

The original COBOL developers are aging out of the workforce, and today not many educational institutions teach this legacy programming language. So the world is at a shortage. Earlier this month, IBM announced a free program to teach technologists how to code in COBOL. While the long term solution should be a disruptive overhaul of this antiquated infrastructure, the challenges associated with data migration, security/regulatory requirements, and highly fragmented processes are just a few examples of the effort needed to institute such a change. Something has to be done now. 

The silver lining in this story is that COBOL isn’t particularly complicated to learn, and we know a few campuses that are still teaching it as a course.  Leveraging a partner such as Fenway Group with a collaborative delivery model means quickly scaling to meet the demands. In addition, you get:

  • 100% onshore delivery
  • US data security laws
  • Onboarding of team in as little as 2 weeks

We are seeing more and more organizations who want to modernize their systems, this is just one example of where the nation’s eyes are focused at the moment. Having ready access to a team of technologists capable of quickly ramping up to take on any IT workload is the Fenway Group.

Developing the Next Generation of Technologists