Mainframe computers have been with us for more than 50 years. They are the workforce of computing environment. Reality is, mainframe systems are reliable but are a money-pit for most organizations. There is a lack of qualified mainframe resources in the market and maintenance costs are very high. Mainframe Modernization can help organizations unlock tremendous cost saving potential and pave the way to efficiency and new revenue streams. However, in order to modernize, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is determining which modernization option is best for them.
When looking at Mainframe Modernization, you really have three options to pick from:
Commercial Off the Shelf system (COTS) – A commercial system is perfect if your company is ready to adapt your processes and our methodologies to fit the commercial application. It can be quick to install and easy to implement though there are issues associated with migrating historical data to match the new data systems within the commercial application. But this might not be exactly something that you were using or familiar with. So customization and compromises must be made to implement such a system. Additionally, employees must be trained extensively to use the system properly and porting of historical data is often a cumbersome task.
Complete Rewrite of the Application – Custom software is scalable. A complete rewrite provides you the flexibility in building precisely what your company needs. One of the biggest challenges companies face is the effort needed to come up with functional requirements. Though a complete rewrite incurs a huge upfront cost, it might save a lot in the long run, with modern hosting options, robust code, improved user interface and relieves you of third party license fees and version upgrades. There is risk in case of the time and the resources needed for the project.
Platform Migration – A platform migration works best when you have a stable application with very few modifications. Often called the ‘Lift and Shift’, platform migration takes the existing functionality of your system and moves into a modern platform. This is by far the fastest approach but leaves very little room for enhancements. In order to choose this option, you have to very comfortable with the existing functionality of your system and that it will serve your business for many years to come.
Considering the strategic business objectives of your organization, a modernized system can add significant value by empowering customers, partners and employees. Modernization can do wonders by reducing administrative time and costs, improvement in customer service and operational efficiency. Determining which solution is best for you is critical to the future of your organization. For many organizations, platform migration may be the best answer or it may require a blend of all the three options. Macrosoft has developed an assessment process to analyze your existing mainframe and develop the migration modernization strategy.
Contact us to discuss how you can start your legacy application assessment and choose the best modernization option for your business.