Consumer demand for instant 24-hour access to personal bank data has taken the financial world in a new direction in less than one generation. Not only do bank IT departments now rival those of software development companies, but banking networks and infrastructure are at least as complex as a tech firm\u2019s. Personal financial information has become one of the most protected and heavily regulated types of data in the world, and security measures and compliance programs consume the largest percentage of a financial institution\u2019s IT budget.\nKnowing all this, it\u2019s no wonder the \u201crip and replace\u201d fad of the early 2000\u2019s never materialized in the banking world. With everyone assuming the turn of the millennium meant \u201cout with the old and in with the new,\u201d companies were ready to rip the mainframes out of their infrastructure to prepare for whatever was next. But what came next never really materialized \u2014 or continued to prove inferior to the sheer processing power of the mainframe, which remains the only real choice for high-demand business computing.\n\nHard to say goodbye to mainframes\n\u201cRip and replace\u201d was driven by excitement at new possibilities and by fear the mainframe would become cost-prohibitive and obsolete as ecommerce increased, but engineers continually adapting and modernizing the mainframe for today\u2019s technology demands have kept the mainframe well ahead of hopes and fears alike, able to keep up with ecommerce and provide incredible security and efficiency. This immense effort to modernize and secure the mainframe has created the most rock-solid banking platform in the world.\nThe pitfalls of \u2018rip and replace\u2019\nSome businesses have continued trying to make \u201crip and replace\u201d work, but while such sweeping strategies sound good in theory, diversifying a network\u2019s architecture adds layers of complexity and may cost more in the long run. For example, the IT department may need to add employees that have a diversified skill-set to maintain a more complex network, or there may be added costs to ETL the distributed data to another server or even route data back to the mainframe for downstream processing or analytics. Not only are capital expenditures involved in a rip-and-replace strategy, but operating costs eventually increase, too.\nThis immense effort to modernize and secure the mainframe has created the most rock-solid banking platform in the world.\nWhy banks stayed away from \u2018rip and replace\u2019\nThese hidden costs and iffy returns were what kept the stability-focused financial institutions loyal to the mainframe, which offers something no other server has: immense processing speed coupled with the ability to encrypt data from end to end, making the mainframe the superhero workhorse for finance. The processing speed of the mainframe means it can detect real-time banking irregularities before the hackers realize they\u2019ve been spotted. The mainframe also contains layers of security, depending on the location of the data, to eliminate a data thief from being able to access personal financial information in one cache.\nAll these benefits \u2014 encryption and security for data at rest and in transit, processing speed for crunching up to 12 billion worldwide banking transactions per day, processing power to enable analytics of enterprise-wide data, and even eliminating platform-dependent skills to develop modern applications \u2014 prove that the mainframe still remains at the hub of our financial industry\u2019s network. And the compulsion to \u201crip and replace\u201d may not ultimately reduce expenses; it could actually end up costing a company more than just money, while the mainframe remains at the core of our digital-age finance.