COBOL in the Cloud

COBOL is a programming language that has been around for over 30 years. This is one of the few programming languages that is used everyday. COBOL is big in the financial world because applications that were built using the language are fast and reliable and innovation has developed around the core applications, not inside of them. Now the cloud is becoming the norm in IT departments across the world, the question must be asked, “Will COBOL move to the cloud?”

The answer is yes. COBAL isn’t going anywhere and the cloud will only help COBOL. COBOL is still used as the backbone of financial computing and industry experts say that the language is here to stay for at least another decade or two. The Chief Technology Office of Borland is Stuart McGill and he was recently quoted as saying, “Believe it or not, it’s probably easier to move COBOL into the cloud, than it is to move a C/C++ application into the cloud. It’s certainly easier to move a COBOL application to the cloud, particularly from a mainframe environment.”
While the actual migration of COBOL into the cloud seems to be pretty straight forward, maintaining the COBOL code may prove to be difficult. Most computer science majors treat COBOL as a novelty while instead focusing on Java, Python and Ruby. The guys who know COBOL well have been working with the code since its inception several decades ago and many of those guys are getting older in age. It will be interesting to see if COBOL will be taught to students or if job seekers will self-study the language as COBOL coders become more and more scarce. Potential COBOL coders will also need to be experts in mainframe management.
Migrating COBOL to the cloud isn’t a new idea. In fact, experts have been talking about moving COBOL to the cloud for years. The banking industry, who is always reluctant to change its infrastructure, is just now beginning to embrace this idea because of the benefits realized by the unlikely marriage of COBOL and the cloud.