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 Accenture recently released a report, 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.
Although they provide security and computing power they also have limitations in technology or architecture. They also have high maintenance costs and technical debt that reduces 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 increase the complexity of mainframe management in the coming years. 93% of respondents plan to migrate to the cloud within the next two to five year.
Modernisation has many benefits, including greater integration with other platforms (93%) and more application agility (60%), ability to adopt new programming language (47%), lower maintenance costs and time spent (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 points to the fact that mainframe modernisation requires cloud developer expertise that bridges legacy mainframes with modern cloud development, especially in application modernisation, cloud solution architect and DevOps.
Mainframes are still essential workhorses for many modern businesses. However, organisations must modernise mainframes to continue providing support for organisations’ short and long term IT strategies.
Accenture also shares the Framework 6 RThis is the path to mainframe modernisation success.
RetainTo extend its useful life, address any issues and move development and test environments into a cloud infrastructure. This will increase agility while reducing costs.
Replace with a package (including commercial-off-the-shelf [COTS]SaaS) to improve functionality, extract and migrate data to reduce complexity.
RehostTo gain cost savings without the risk of programming language changes, you can move to a cheaper location.
Re-platformYou can switch to another platform/operating system without changing the programming language and allow applications to run in cloud.
RefactorLegacy code to a modern programming languages, using semi-automated software to reduce risk related to legacy skills, increase agility, and lower costs.
ReimagineDomain-driven Design is used to rewrite applications to support modern business processes.