Mainframe modernization refers to the process of upgrading and adapting your current or legacy mainframe systems, in lieu of complete replacement or operating with outdated mainframe applications. While mainframe technology infrastructure may be outdated, but it is still heavily relied upon in many industries. These extensive computers house massive amounts of data and therefore cannot be easily migrated or updated to adapt to changing business practices and digital innovation.
Mainframes continue to run foundational business applications, but continuing a business-as-usual operation of these mainframes is not cost-effective or sustainable. Additionally, skilled programmers needed to update and maintain mainframe code are beginning to retire. Mainframe programming languages are not as popular with developers as more modern languages. With the onslaught of new technology in this digital revolution, proficiency in application modernization and digital transformation is the new normal.
Aging mainframes present several problems, including cost-affecting inefficiencies, legacy applications with hidden code that are impossible to troubleshoot, and overloaded systems impacting performance. Mainframe modernization involves an analysis of what can be migrated or rehosted and identifies any redundant code. Mainframe migration can include any number or combination of solutions, including migrating to the cloud or a multi-cloud system, rehosting on lower-cost platforms, or even rewriting the mainframe applications entirely into new a mainframe environment.
The risk associated with any of these options is a loss of data or functionality. In most cases, migrating or rehosting mainframe applications will allow for more speed and competitive advantage, but certain legacy applications and programming languages cannot be moved. In these instances, it is important to find a solution that maintains the ability to be upgraded and fine-tuned over time, while continuing to be held within its legacy infrastructure.