Ready for BYOD: How green screen technology can change its colour

Text-based or function key- and 3270-based applications, referred to as ‘green screen’ apps, often fail to engage users and provide degraded efficiency compared with modern graphical approaches.

Worse still, a growing number of businesses using legendary systems will face challenges associated with keeping pace with emerging trends such as BYOD, if they do not modernise their green screen applications.

According to research by Vanson Bourne, of the 590 global CIOs and IT directors polled, 93% of organisations today still use green screen applications. However, a staggering 89% have had complaints from end-users about aspects of the applications, with nearly two thirds (65%) claiming end users feel bored, frustrated, ambivalent or restricted when using these applications. IT leaders themselves appear to agree; with 55% believing green screen applications do not do a good enough job.

>See also: As wearables enter the workplace, IT revisits BYOD lessons

According to Gartner, by 2018, the size of the mobile workforce will double or triple and HTML5 will become the de-facto enterprise application development tool.

With new channels being added to IT environments to enable mobile and internet capabilities, it’s clear that businesses are facing increasing pressure to support new devices that can access applications held on legendary IT such as the mainframe, and are struggling to meet this demand.

Changing mindsets

Yet there isn’t widespread agreement in many organisations as to how to define the problem. There is disconnect between what the organisation and IT teams consider innovative.

This is impacting the introduction of modernisation approaches to support business innovation. 72% of CIOs feel non-IT people within their organisation do not base their opinion of IT innovation on updating so-called legacy applications.

They believe 42% of non-IT people judge innovation on unusual or gimmicky applications and widgets, opting for novelty over existing technology.

Despite 61% of CIOs believing their innovation role is integral to the business, 50% said their non-IT people do not see the IT department as a source of innovation.

Instead, respondents claim more than a third (36%) see it as a support for the organisation and 13% view it as merely a maintenance function.

This could have led to a lack of enthusiasm by the IT department in seeking approaches to modernise applications for business benefit – especially if it is not recognised as innovative.

A further concern is that more than half (56%) of CIOs believe it would be technically difficult to update the user interface of existing green screen application.

Interestingly, many organisations have been led to believe their green screen technology will not be compatible with employees' modern devices, prompting them to rewrite entire applications or purchase a packaged solution. This approach can be time consuming, risky, expensive and potentially needless.

Creating a modern workplace

If the IT department can overcome some of the aforementioned hurdles placed in front of them to win the backing and investment to modernise green screen applications as an innovative approach, there are significant benefits to be released.

First, modernising core green screen applications would allow new devices to 'plug in' to existing core application infrastructure and make new mobile and BYOD implementations a more viable, low cost and risk prospect. With mobile, web and desktop connectivity, access becomes a 24-7 business opportunity.

Second, the simplicity of these revised systems reduces the on-hold time that clients may suffer, as well as dramatically increasing the ease-of-use of the new interfaces.

New features, clarity and control, provides the additional colour these applications need to be truly user friendly. Results show a potential improvement in efficiency of over 100%

>See also: The top 10 ways why BYOD initiatives fail

Fundamentally, the business will see noticeable improvements to the way in which its workforce delivers.

According to the Vanson Bourne survey, those that have access to green screen applications on the go have increased productivity by 41% of CIOs, and almost all respondents (98%) believe there would be a positive impact on productivity by adding

Bringing functionality and simplicity to tried and trusted core apps enables the IT department to quickly enhance the business value it can deliver, with the modernity and colour the users need.


Sourced from Derek Britton, director, Micro Focus

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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