Out with the Old, in with the New?

By Calsin, John B., Jr. | Independent Banker, December 1994 | Go to article overview

Out with the Old, in with the New?


Calsin, John B., Jr., Independent Banker


As the use of personal computers continues to rapidly growamong community banks, the question becomes: How quickly do you throw away the mainframe? While the PC can readily position a bank's technology for the future, you may want to think twice before hauling the old mainframe to the trash bin.

The fact is that the mainframe computer still has a place in the community bank, even in a bank where PCs are popping up on everyone's desk.

Computer networking has become the technological rage in business these days. And the same is true for small banks, which are implementing PCs at a rapid pace. A survey by American Banker and the Tower Group earlier this year found that community banks have increased their use of PCs 13 percent in the last year. The banking industry as a whole increased its use of PCs only 9 percent.

Banks are implementing client/serve technology, where clusters of PCs are tied together to form networks. The networks allow bankers to share information. The PC networks give front-line personnel access to complete, up-to-date marketing information when dealing with customers.

As banking consultant Thomas A. Donofrio says, "Client/server technology allows you to take all that information from your bureau or your backroom and put it at everyone's fingertips."

Maintaining a Mainframe Role

And while PC networking offers pronounced advantages, there's still a place for mainframe computers in small banks. The mainframe can still perform functions--albeit differently than in the past--that PCs cannot match.

"It's the old curmudgeon idea that this is old, therefore this is no good," says Thomas Egan, executive director for the Study of Connectivity and Databases at West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania. "The newer technologies offer a lot of advantages. But they are not a panacea."

Egan cites several reasons why bankers who are moving to a network environment may not want to discard their mainframe computers yet. One reason is the application software used on the mainframe. If the software is satisfactory and accomplishes its purposes, stay with it. "The hardware is secondary," Egan says.

The capability to move a bank's legacy, enterprise software from the mainframe to a network is still in the development stage. Moving mainframe software to a network environment can be a difficult if not impossible transition.

For the banker who owns a mainframe, but realizes the advantages of a network environment and wants to move in that direction, Egan offers a suggestion: "Do that with caution. In other words, first try to bring the network up and take advantages of it before abandoning the mainframe."

Some banks that are converting to network environments are relying on their mainframes to be the server in their new client/server environment.

That's the case at The First National Bank of West Chester, Pennsylvania, which has been computerized since 1967. Today, the bank is moving to a network environment, but it is still using its mainframe.

"Our mainframe, an IBM 4381, is a giant server," says First National Senior Vice President James D. Gruver. "We have three local area networks (LANs), and we are putting in four more."

First National's LANs are in accounting, trust and administration. The branches are future network targets and currently use the mainframe for customer-based information queries through dumb terminals.

Gruver does not believe the PC-network environment will be adequate to handle the night throughput of transactions for their more than 30,000 customers, as well as the peripherals, fast disk drives and the cassette tape drives. The mainframe will continue to serve as the database.

The Flexibility of Software

For First National's networks, which will become wide area networks (WANs) once the branches come on line, much of the software is not proprietary.

The openness of software in the network environment contrasts that of the mainframe. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Out with the Old, in with the New?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.