Mainframe modernization maximizes value
4 MINS READ
Mainframes still mainstream
Millions of business transactions requiring huge volumes of data are executed on mainframe platforms.
New processors and chipsets in conjunction with native virtualization, and container technologies have enabled enterprises to continue to leverage their existing investment on mainframes. Messaging solutions for message exchange between mainframe applications and services hosted on cloud, and solutions that integrate mainframe workloads and data on-premise with digital systems of engagement on public cloud have helped modernization efforts. At operational and tactical levels, mainframe utility pricing models, license models, repurposing and processing through APIs will always trigger enterprises to continuously invest in the optimization effort of mainframe application workloads.
Longer time to market, inadequate skills, increase in total cost of ownership, and inflexibility to rapidly launch experimental workloads to support innovation plague enterprises that have mainframe footprint with legacy application portfolios.
On the other hand, enterprises that are not risk averse, go the modernization way riding on cloud-native services. They enjoy higher productivity and business agility, stronger business sustainability, faster time-to-market, and lower operating costs.
10R guidance framework
A comprehensive 10R guidance framework can help enterprises to apply best practices and categorize the mainframe application portfolios.
This framework acts on key input parameters such as mainframe application portfolio’s business value, technology obsolescence, life-cycle stage, roadmap plan and business criticality levels. It also helps categorize the mainframe application portfolios that are required to be:
Transitioning to cloud
Enterprises can adopt a multi-horizon approach to successfully modernize mainframe applications.
Horizon 1: Building the digital core
Horizon 2: Transforming business models
Horizon 3: Building sustainable businesses
Modernization and cloud transformation help reduce operational as well as upgrade costs.
The approach to mainframe modernization should cover end-to-end phases such as advisory, strategy definition, discovery, assessment, design, implementation, and change management. A key steppingstone for mainframe modernization journey is systems integrators and service providers who work jointly with key business, IT, and finance stakeholders of enterprises for creating:
We recommend an overarching crawl-walk-run approach for successful mainframe application modernization.
Crawl: Execute the pilot application modernization and migration for less critical applications.
Walk: Execute the first wave of business-critical applications within line of business (early adopters).
Run: Establish and run the industrialized factory model for modernization for executing parallel projects for cluster of mainframe applications across line of business and business segments.
Customization is key
Mainframe modernization efforts should be tailor-made to specific industries.
Automated discovery, migration, and design tools, coupled with industrialized factory approach, are the need of the hour to address the scale, complexity, and volume of application components for accelerating the delivery of legacy application modernization and cloud transformation. Tracking business value realization through value measurement framework is the key to measure the success of application modernization and cloud migration initiatives. With this approach in mind, finding the right partner to drive the complexity of the enterprise transformation is key for accomplishing business objectives. Evolving legacy application workloads from mainframe to cloud with a risk-adjusted approach enables the enterprise to thrive as they meet their purpose-led growth business objective.
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