The real contest is always
between what you've done
and what you're capable of doing. You measure yourself against
yourself and nobody else.
- Geoffrey Gaberino
Model development environment saves $4 million annually
Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) was experiencing significant
costs in performing mainframe software development due to the high
costs of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) software. At the time,
the company had a single mainframe that handled loads for development,
testing, and production processing activities. As the business grew,
and more mainframe horsepower was needed to support this growth,
the software costs also increased proportionally. This included
costs associated with application development software even though
no increase in development was being performed on this mainframe.
LabCorp needed a solution to reduce the dependency on mainframe
application development software.
As Director - Development Technologies, I was responsible for management
and support of the development tools and environments that application
developers used to create their software programs. This responsibility
also included moving as much application development activity as
possible off the mainframe and on to the PC platform in order to
save costs. Application development tools supported included: Micro
Focus COBOL and Computer Associates COOL:Gen for development targeted
to the mainframe, and IBM Websphere Studio for development targeted
to distributed environments.
Almost 300 programmers are using these PC-based development tools
and environments to create their software programs. Approximately
two years after implementation, studies were done to determine the
productivity increases from PC-based development tools versus mainframe-based
development tools. These studies found that application developer
productivity increased by over 18% by implementation and support
of PC-based development tools and environments. Extrapolating this
productivity increase into headcount and dollars results in a savings
of approximately 54 programmer headcount and over $4 million in
annual personnel savings.
As a result of the successful implementation of PC-based tools
and environments, the software vendors frequently use this success
as a model installation of reference for their products and potential