IBM recently announced that it’s discontinuing support and marketing for the z13 and z13s mainframes.

This forces their z13 customers between a “rock and a hard place.”

You can follow IBM’s guidance and upgrade to a new mainframe for a few million dollars. Or you can continue using the z13 and assume the risk of using an unsupported piece of technology.

Getting Out From a Rock and a Hard Place

How to get out from this rock and hard place?

You can understand that both options are bad, because both fail to free you from the underlying problem. Mainframe technology has inherent risks that are consistent regardless of how “new” your mainframe is.

Mainframe Risks

Mainframes carry risks that other systems do not. These risks are many and varied:

Financial Risks:

Maintaining the ever-expanding overhead. Mainframe operating and maintenance costs are rising faster than any other form of computing.

Business Risks:

Your competitors can outpace you because a mainframe is limiting. It limits your agility, scalability, competitiveness, and customer responsiveness.

Personnel Risks:  

The numbers of mainframe developers are declining over time. There are over 80,000 mainframe positions open worldwide.

By most reports, mainframe infrastructures block business growth. Mainframes make it difficult to identify and quickly respond to market changes and customer priorities.

The environment is too rigid to support any meaningful, real-time decisions. From a cost perspective, monthly license fees continue to rise nearly seven percent annually. And the increase in mobile, batch and Web transaction loads are pushing these expenses even further. Mainframe skills are also few and far between – it’s becoming increasingly costly for businesses to find the staff to support it.

So How to Modernize?

There are two main ways to modernize and migrate away from a mainframe: replatforming and refactoring.

Replatforming: Replatforming an application is a well-established approach to moving an entire application to a different operating system without changing the code structure, or the features and functions of the application.

An example is moving an application from an IBM mainframe to an AZURE Cloud platform.

Refactoring: Refactoring an application is an automated approach to modernization. Refactoring leverages automated code converters to transform mainframe source code into JAVA or C#.

An example of this is the transformation of a mainframe COBOL application to JAVA. The goal is for the JAVA output to execute exactly as the mainframe COBOL executed at runtime.

Nearly Everyone is Modernizing

According to a 2017 Micro Focus customer survey, plans are in place to maintain or modernize 84% of mainframe applications soon.

Are you ready to break free from your mainframe licensing costs? Or looking to dodge the cost of upgrading your z13? Then it might be a perfect time to modernize your mainframe!

Break Free from your Mainframe Risk

Continuing to rely on mainframes is risky business. Risky for your business, your finances, and your personnel. Yet migration also seems risky, if only because you've never tried. You can leverage Astadia's deep expertise to overcome migration fears and break free of your mainframe.

As a consulting and services organization, Astadia is not limited to one-size-fits-all thinking. Before we talk about solutions, we learn your technical issues, business requirements, and context. Then we tailor a plan that fits your needs. We have successfully migrated over 200 mainframes and hundreds of millions of lines of code over nearly 30 years. From planning and migration, DevOps and testing, to managed services: we can guide you through a successful journey.

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