This month's column is contributed by Steve Craggs, European vice chairman of the Integration Consortium.

For many companies, there are strong business imperatives to leverage past IT investments, and nowhere is this more applicable than in unlocking the enormous corporate value bound up in the mainframe and its resources. In order to effectively leverage these investments for increased value, mainframe-based technology, applications and information stores need to be integrated with the distributed IT systems in a two-way street, enabling each environment to benefit from the assets of the other.

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