By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software
According to PwC, almost two-thirds (60%) of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) see digital transformation as one of the most important drivers of growth this year. The cloud has been a major part of most organizations’ IT investments and digital transformation journeys. In fact, Gartner forecasts worldwide public cloud end-user spending will reach nearly $500 billion in 2022. But with all the hype around the cloud, many organizations overlook one of their business’s most critical tools: terminal emulation.
Terminal emulators for IBM Z, IBM i, and other mainframe systems aren’t exactly as popular as the cloud nowadays, but they play a critical role in ensuring secure access to stored data for organizations that rely on the mainframe. From ensuring regulatory compliance to serving customers more efficiently, terminal emulation is key to enabling a range of business processes.
Read on to learn why IT leaders can’t afford to overlook terminal emulation any longer — and what steps to take next.
Terminal emulators are not what they once were
Until recently, terminal emulators have been limited in their capabilities, hindering users from a lack of configurability options and cumbersome interfaces. Because of this, organizations experienced a loss of productivity and an increase in overall frustration for end users and administrators alike.
However, today’s new generation of emulators allow IT teams to access their business-critical applications through home computers, or even mobile devices, without any compromises to functionality. The pandemic was a significant catalyst for innovation in terminal emulator capabilities. When the at-home workforce spiked from 17% pre-pandemic to 44% during the pandemic, it drove the need for professionals to access critical systems securely, no matter where the user of that technology was located.
The latest terminal emulators deliver exceptional configurability and seamless access for users regardless of their physical location, allowing remote team members to be as productive and efficient as they would in a traditional office. Additionally, unlike terminal emulators from 20 years ago, today’s modern terminal emulator provides the latest security features as well as customized, feature-rich customer and user experiences. Terminal emulators that are kept up to date with today’s business needs enable access to applications from any browser, allowing employees to manage even the most complex functions from wherever they are.
Not every emulator is created equal
As companies upgrade their legacy systems, updated terminal emulators will help them access data from centralized systems and facilitate automation. But not all terminal emulators are created equal. Organizations that have a weak terminal emulator that lacks flexibility can experience disruptions in their user workflows, creating discomfort and slowing processes.
One important aspect an organization should look for when evaluating terminal emulator solutions is the ability to unify and customize their existing IT environment. One of the primary motivators for enterprises evaluating their existing terminal emulators is the operational benefits from the perspective of IT teams. Unifying terminal emulation reduces the number of supported solutions needed, which saves IT professionals time and resources. The ability to customize the terminal environment is also a key feature, as many users with decades of experience have strong preferences and have even developed shortcuts for their most often-used tasks. Terminal emulator customization allows users to feel familiar and comfortable with the new environment.
Another critical aspect of today’s terminal emulators for business longevity is their security capabilities. While others may let their terminal emulator solution remain stagnant, vendors like Rocket Software are continually developing and improving their emulation solution to keep up with current security protocols, ensuring it is secure and compliant. This is important, especially for companies in highly regulated industries such as financial services, to avoid costly fines and penalties.
Terminal emulation is one of your business’s most critical tools because it provides access to the data enterprises needed to meet customer needs while also providing improved experiences for employees. Unlike terminal emulators of the past, modern solutions provide customizable terminal environments, ensure security compliance, and allow for excellent customer and user experiences.
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