Since the advent of new technologies and the Internet age, companies with a mainframe System z had to evolve their applications in order to meet new business challenges and remain competitive. Indeed, as IT technology is now inseparable from the business, IT can move towards two types of radically opposed projects: migrate the information system, or promote long-term interoperability between its different components (data, applications, platforms, networks, workstations, etc.)
Migrating the mainframe architecture: is it a good solution?
In cases where a company chooses to migrate from mainframe to open systems, it has to redevelop mainframe applications’ business logic on open systems, or replace these 3270 applications with custom applications delivered by the new system’s supplier, or else re-host these applications onto web servers. Such a project can be long, risky and expensive: it’s a totally different approach that requires rethinking their core IT infrastructure, training their developers on new technologies and the providers’ staff on mainframe skills. Years of investment in mainframe technology would be lost with the need for conversion or replacement of mainframe languages and incompatible products.
A recent study published by the Standish Group shows the failures of some major groups that chose to rewrite the codes within their applications or replace them with other software. These failures are a consequence of over budgeting or exceeding deadlines, leading to a reduction in business performance and weakening their competitiveness.
Mainframe modernization: adapting the existing infrastructure
Modernizing mainframe applications and making them inter-operable with new technologies is on the other hand an easy way to ensure their development and meet new business and technological challenges. This path allows full compatibility between mainframe applications/data and web technologies, without any changes to the original code.
Faced with these facts strengthened by the current crisis, IT managers should choose to rely on their existing infrastructure and upgrade it. This strategy will allow them to meet their business challenges and adapt to new user behaviors, and is also a quick way to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Mainframe modernization is the best way to enjoy web technology and benefit from the richness of legacy environments, painlessly.