Over the past few years, organizations across the globe have deployed digital technologies to create new revenue opportunities, increase operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and build lasting competitive advantage.

Cloud computing has been a powerful catalyst for this process, offering a reliable, scalable, and flexible platform for digitization. Legacy environments, in contrast, are proving to be more and more of a liability, acting as a brake on speed and agility.

While mainframes have been scalable and steadfastly reliable over the years, they lack the flexibility and agility that today’s organizations need. As the demands of the digital economy evolve, so too must the technology that underpins it. Mainframe modernization clears the road blocks that stand in the way of digital transformation, offering opportunities tore-engineer legacy processes.

Preserving Mainframe Investments

Mainframe modernization preserves an organization’s investments in existing applications and processes.  Instead of performing a wholesale replacement of critical business systems, modernization offers a stable bridge between old and new technologies.

The Texas A&M University System, for example, has relied on its Financial Accounting Management Information System (FAMIS) for decades. They wanted to maintain the stability and functionality of that application, and they didn’t want to scrap the substantial investment they had made in tailoring it to fit their exact requirements.

With Astadia’s help, the A&M System successfully preserved its investments in FAMIS while reducing operating costs by an estimated $1.5 million annually, easing its hiring constraints, improving security, and increasing organizational agility.

Texas A&M University Case Study

What Happens after Mainframe Modernization?

Modernizing a mainframe system can result in several significant changes and improvements for organizations. Preserving previous IT investments and reducing maintenance or license costs have been historically one of the main drivers for embarking on a digital transformation journey. Today, however, these changes are often driven by the need to leverage the advantages of modern technologies and cloud computing.

Here are some of the main changes organizations can expect:

Integration with new technologies: Modernized mainframes allow for better integration with modern technologies, such as the cloud, microservices, DevOps, Kubernetes, serverless and manages data services. This opens up new possibilities for improving performance and efficiency.

Enhanced agility: Modern software development practices, such as DevOps and agile methodologies, are more readily adopted on modernized platforms. By modernizing mainframes, organizations can accelerate their development cycles, leverage data and applications in transformative ways to innovate faster and improve time-to-market for new features products, and services.

Cost efficiency: While there are initial costs associated with modernization, organizations often achieve long-term cost savings. Reducing maintenance and license costs is just the first step. Modernized mainframes can leverage the cloud's scalable and pay-as-you-go pricing model. This means that organizations can optimize their spending on IT infrastructure, paying only for the resources they use.

Improved scalability: Mainframe systems focus on vertical scalability, whereas cloud systems focus on horizontal scalability. This means that as they need more and more processing power, they can easily add compute instances at controlled cost to meet the demand. By moving mission-critical systems to the cloud, companies can serve their customers even faster and more efficiently. As the volume of data increases, the organization’s technology infrastructure can keep pace.

Risk management and compliance: In the context of a constantly evolving threat environment and shifting regulatory requirements, modernization helps ensure that computing resources and data remain secure and compliant. Modern systems often have improved security features and are more resistant to cybersecurity threats. This can better protect sensitive data and reduce the risk of data breaches.

Streamlined operations: Modernized systems often include automation and improved workflows, simplifying routine tasks and streamlining operations. This can lead to increased productivity and reduced manual work.

Better user experience: A modernized system can provide more user-friendly and intuitive interfaces and make applications more user-friendly and accessible.

Easier maintenance: Maintenance becomes more straightforward with modern systems, as updates and patches are easier to apply. This reduces the time and effort required to keep the system running smoothly.

Data analytics and insights: Modern systems often support more advanced data analytics and reporting, providing organizations with valuable insights for decision-making.

Talent attraction and retention: Mainframe modernization eliminates the skills shortage risk and can make an organization more appealing to top talent, as younger professionals often prefer to work with modern technology.

Mainframe modernization isn’t simply a technical decision; it's a strategic imperative. As organizations embrace digital transformation, the need to update and adapt their mainframe infrastructure becomes increasingly clear. Sooner or later, organizations will have to choose between the risks of migrating and the risk of being left behind. In the end, having a well-planned roadmap for a modern cloud-based strategy, a thoroughly documented approach and the right team is the key to adapt and be part of the next-generation business world.

Interested in exploring mainframe modernization options for your organization?  Contact our team today to discuss your project.

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