Challenge: Replace the services and expertise of a zOS Systems programmer retiring after 35 years

Objective: Ensure the mainframe environment remains properly supported

Industry: Insurance

Solution: Provide mainframe support via PSR Systems Programming Service plan coverage for zOS


The company’s mainframe systems programmer, John, had worked at the firm for over 35 years, and had significant technical, operational, and institutional knowledge. When he announced his intention to retire at the end of the year, Senior IT management and applications and operations staff became anxious, realizing that they did not fully understand John’s job duties and practices. They only knew that he solved all mainframe-related problems, recommended upgrades, and kept the mainframe running using his deep understanding of the environment. John also handled all IBM and third party systems software for the mainframe.

The company intended to discontinue use of a mainframe in 3 years. Having already announced sunset plans for the mainframe, the company knew it would be difficult to attract a new programmer due to the intimidation factor of such a change.


The PSR team proposed that they provide the services that the company needed through their Systems Programming Service Plan. The company would then not have the challenge of finding a replacement for John or experience a decrease in support.

PSR assigned an experienced systems programmer to work with John during the remainder of his tenure. During that time, PSR determined that John’s responsibilities extended beyond zOS Systems programming to include solving application and operational issues, and serving as backfill for production control.

PSR worked with the firm’s senior IT management to identify responsibilities the firm’s current staff could take over. To fill the gaps, the company secured PSR to provide on-call services to handle the tasks for which they did not have internal resources.


John happily retired after 35+ years and the zOS mainframe environment continues to support the company. The firm’s application and operation staff feel supported—if there is a question or problem, they know they can contact PSR 24 x 7 with a guaranteed one-hour response. Even without a full-time in-house zOS Systems programmer, the firm can support their mainframe environment as they plan their next steps.