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Legacy mainframes integrated into the modern IT environment

Legacy mainframes integrated into the modern IT environment

Could the world’s most successful businesses be stuck in the IT dark ages? What does it take for the system to meet modern IT expectations?

According to a Recent report from Accenture, more than 70% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies run their business-critical applications on mainframes, which lie at the heart of their data centres. 

They offer security and computing power but many mainframes have technology or architecture limitations, high maintenance cost, and heavy technical debt that slows agility. 

Mainframes are becoming more and more important in the overall cloud migration process.

When Accenture surveyed IT executives in Australia and New Zealand, 66% stated that the high cost of operations posed a challenge to their organisation’s strategic IT initiatives. More than half (61%) of respondents also noted that people with the right skillsets to manage mainframes are scarce, and 59%  said that mainframes are not flexible or adaptable.

These challenges will make mainframe management more complex in the future. As a result, 93% say they plan on moving to the cloud in the next 2-5 years.

Modernisation has many benefits, including greater integration with other platforms (93%) and more application agility (47%) and the ability to adopt new programming language (47%), as well as reduced maintenance costs and time (47%), among other benefits.

Accenture’s A/NZ mainframe modernisation lead, managing director, Al Auda, explains, “Although A/NZ companies are making progress in modernising their mainframes, it’s not happening fast enough. Half of the organisations surveyed are only in early stages of their mainframe-to-cloud modernisation initiative while a mere 16% have completed or are nearing completion of migration.”

Auda explains that mainframe modernization requires cloud development expertise to bridge legacy mainframes and new cloud development, in particular in application modernisation and cloud solution architecture.

Mainframes are still the primary workhorses of many modern businesses. Their importance cannot be overemphasized. However, organisations must modernise mainframes to continue providing support for organisations’ short and long term IT strategies.

Accenture also shares this Framework 6 RThis is the path to mainframe modernisation success.

RetainRestore its usefulness, fix any problems, and move development and testing environments to a cloud infrastructure in order to increase agility and decrease costs.

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Replace with a package (including commercial-off-the-shelf [COTS]SaaS) to enhance functionality and extract and migrate data to lower costs.

RehostTo gain cost savings without the risk of programming language changes, you can move to a cheaper location.

Re-platformTo switch to a different platform/operating systems – without changing programming language – and permit applications to run on the cloud.

RefactorLegacy code to modern programming language using semi-automated tools to reduce risk, increase agility, and cut costs.

ReimagineThe business Use domain-driven Design to rewrite the application in support of modern business processes and technology modernisation

Read the full Mainframe modernisation – from legacy to cloud report here.

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