Digital Themes

Mainframe Modernization

What is Mainframe Modernization?

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of upgrading and adapting your current or legacy mainframe systems, in lieu of complete replacement or operating with outdated mainframe applications. While mainframe technology infrastructure may be outdated, but it is still heavily relied upon in many industries.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.

What are the benefits of Mainframe Modernization?

  • Reduce cost of maintenance and operation: The towering infrastructure alone denotes a large cost. The associated costs of housing the mainframe, and monitoring and troubleshooting the colossal computers, can be astronomical. Thus, moving data to cloud-based solutions or removing redundancies eliminates sizeable costs.

  • Skill shift: The original code writers of mainframe software are aging out and retiring. And their skillset is no longer being taught to the next generation of engineers and code writers. New and innovative technologies are taking the place of outdated ones, and your mainframe will no longer be sustainably serviceable if it does not keep up with the changing technology.

  • Reduced dependency: Along with the retirement of those skilled in legacy mainframe technology comes an opportunity for independent management and operation of mainframe systems. Updating technology to more automated systems can create more efficient and cost-effective maintenance options.

  • Competitive advantage: With rapidly improving applications and technologies being introduced every day, the only way to stay competitive is with a system that is easily updated and integrated. Constantly adapting to new trends and innovation is a competitive advantage.

  • Employee Productivity: Allowing legacy systems to move to more automated processes frees up IT department bandwidth to engage in higher-level issues. Eliminating redundancies reduces the time needed to find and fix problems within the code.
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