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The Benefits of Mainframe Modernization




January 31, 2023

Businesses today are pressured to leverage the latest technology to stay competitive. For some, this requires a digital transformation effort known as mainframe modernization. The goal of this strategy is to upgrade a company’s mainframe, i, AIX, and AS/400 systems to suit the demands of today’s landscape. After reading this post, you should be able to identify the signals for mainframe modernization, the benefits, and how to get it done right.

Mainframe Modernization in 2023

The potential value of mainframe modernization is enormous. Fortunately, the evolution and affordability of technology allowed this to become a much more viable option for businesses. Clear advantages such as better scalability are driving companies to prioritize mainframe projects in 2023. Additionally, the shortage of experts with skills in older systems is spurring organizations to modernize.

Modernization Drivers

Mainframe modernization is often a prerequisite for organizations to capitalize on their investments in digital transformation. Three major forces behind this shift include agility, technical aptitude, and cost efficiency.

1. Agility – Agility is the theme of today’s fluctuating landscape. Mainframe modernization can be a great asset for businesses wanting to improve their agility. The biggest reason for this is the availability of resources that grant flexibility. New tools grant businesses the speed to pivot as needed. Moving away from traditional mainframes provides tremendous opportunities for organizations to adapt quickly in ever-changing competitive environments.

2. Technical Skill Gap – Another driver of mainframe modernization is gaps in technical skills. As technology evolves, the ability to maintain legacy systems is becoming more and more complicated. Skilled technicians are becoming far and few with many longtime internal assets retiring over the last several years. Replacement hires for legacy technology are facing a shortage of engineers and support staff to keep systems running.

3. Cost Savings – The cost of maintaining old systems is a major driver of mainframe modernization. Maintaining outdated infrastructure is often a costly burden to manage. Modernization reduces these costs by eliminating the need for costly software maintenance and upkeep of physical infrastructure, such as server and storage hardware.

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Modernization Benefits

Mainframe modernization provides several benefits that help businesses stay ahead.

Increased efficiency and speed

One helpful way to increase efficiency and speed is to tap into the power of modern technology. Organizations can access the latest tools by making use of cloud-native development platforms. Taking advantage of new operating systems shortens the time to respond to the market and adapt to customer needs. A strategic approach to adopting new systems while retaining existing ones can improve the efficiency of legacy systems as well.

Improved scalability

Mainframe modernization is an important step that businesses can take to improve scalability. Businesses can leverage cloud technology to store more information and make it accessible. Changes to the core computing systems can open new opportunities for larger companies. Scaling operations would no longer be a challenge with a reliable system in place. Users would access applications with faster response times regardless of location or device used, enabling them to handle increased volumes with ease. With mainframe modernization, businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud technology for a wider range of capabilities.

Better collaboration and integration

Mainframe modernization can revolutionize how collaboration and integration work within an organization. Modernizing the mainframe allows organizations to integrate with other systems. This opens the door for automation, data sharing, and collaboration. Such improved internal interaction will enable teams to take action with speed and confidence.

Enhanced Security

Mainframes are the backbone of businesses. Security is a critical aspect of mainframe systems. Unfortunately, older mainframe systems often put the organization’s data at risk due to an outdated security function. This comes hand in hand with the fact that security breaches have been gaining momentum recently. Mainframe modernization helps to improve security by updating systems to the latest security standards and best practices. Furthermore, the up-to-date tools provide better monitoring and management capabilities. This helps to ensure that sensitive data is protected and reduces the risk of security breaches.

Modernization Done Right

To reap the benefits of mainframe modernization, there are a few things that you need to know. First, do not underestimate the initiative and plan carefully. Mainframe modernization is an intricate process with potentially wide-ranging consequences. Building a comprehensive plan before diving into modernizing the mainframe will facilitate a smooth transition and set the organization up for success in achieving its goals. The blueprint should incorporate an understanding of objectives, timelines, and budgets.

An incremental transition is an extremely effective approach to mainframe modernization. This allows businesses to gradually move to a more modern infrastructure while preserving the integrity of their existing systems. The key to success with mainframe modernization is to break it down into manageable steps and execute each one with care.

Where do IBM Power Systems fit in?

Many IBM mainframe customers also run IBM Power Systems like IBM i, AIX, and AS/400. Both IBM i and AIX are critical systems that provide the foundation of many organizations’ operations. As these systems age, they can become difficult and expensive to maintain. Modernizing these systems can help to address these issues, improving their scalability, security, and functionality.

One of the best ways to include IBM Power Systems in your modernization journey is by migrating them to a hybrid architecture with low latency connectivity to AWS. A hybrid architecture for IBM Power Systems opens up new possibilities for DR and high availability, leverage AWS services for advanced data analytics, IoT, AI/ML, Mobile and Voice, and more. Once your workloads are hosted in a secure and fully managed hybrid architecture, you can begin longer term modernization projects like refactoring or rewriting legacy code.

Read More on the AWS Blog: Hosting IBM i and AIX Systems with Low-Latency Connectivity to AWS with Connectria.

Modernization is a critical process for businesses to meet the changing demands of today’s market. The benefits of modernization make it a rewarding investment with careful planning. Contact us today to learn more.

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