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Developing Your Mainframe Modernization Roadmap: Part 3 of 5

November 13, 2019
February 26, 2020

Video with Astadia, CTO, Steve Steuart & Micro Focus Government Solutions, Chief Technologist,  Kevin Hansen

Video Transcription:

Kevin Hanson:
So Steve, if I'm an agency CIO and I'm looking to engage down this path, what are the things that I should plan for to be successful?

Steve Steuart:
Yeah, well, I think the first thing is identify your inventory. So you got to figure out what you currently have. I always talk about the last great application portfolio rationalization project that everybody had to do was Y2K, right? Everybody had to figure out where my date routines were, what am I going to do?

Kevin Hanson:
Right

Steve Steuart:
That was, what, 19 years ago. More than that because they had to start around '98, '99 to kind of ... so this is a lot longer, so 20 years ago, 21 years ago. You almost have to do that again as to what are the applications that we want to map to the cloud? What are the applications that run your agency that are mission critical?

Steve Steuart:
Number two is team composition. Make sure you identify the team members that understand the mission. Where am I going? I always akin this to a three-legged race. When we were kids, if you had a great partner, you were hot, you were running, right? But if you were dragging somebody, that's not fun. So you got to make sure you're aligned and have that going there. Those are the key things.

Steve Steuart:
And there's a psychology to this because I've seen it. Nothing's worse than walking into a room with all your mainframe guys with their arms crossed like this. "I'm here because I have to be here." It's a passing the baton moment. They wrote an application that runs your agency. It works today. The concern is, how do I get this to the cloud? They're totally relevant, so they need to pass it on to the next person. We just talked about, COBOL's going to be easily another 60 years.

Kevin Hanson:
That's right.

Steve Steuart:
Pass that baton and let it run in a new platform. So get them engaged. So it's more psychology, what do you have, and doing that mapping process.

Kevin Hanson:
So you really get to align, not just the technology, the people as well.

Steve Steuart:
The people-

Kevin Hanson:
And the process.

Steve Steuart:
And we try to promote it and motivate the folks that this is something that's good and we're not here to ... your stuff doesn't work. Your stuff works, we're just not going to move it over.

Kevin Hanson:
And it's really beyond the application as well. You've got to understand the processes around that application, whether it's a dev ops process or maybe it's the authentication and identity management around that application or even the underlying infrastructure. How are people authenticating to that application? What platform tools are being used to support that application? It's a number of things.

Steve Steuart:
What's all part of that assessment process. What you did before doesn't apply it in the new world today. It may be fine, you're going to have more options to address all of those things you were talking about. I mean, if you think about it, most folks probably have a CAC card, a CAC, come in and authenticate, right? Well, you keep that same stuff going on today. We can talk about the facial recognition that you can now add your COBOL apps. That's just a service [inaudible 00:00:02:56]. That's an example of how you can rejuvenate your applications.

Kevin Hanson:
So as part of migrating the application itself, you're actually doing some tool mapping and modernization around the supporting infrastructure.

Steve Steuart:
Right. Because, remember, we're unplugging the mainframe, so it's got to have the same availability, the same security.

Kevin Hanson:
That's right.

Steve Steuart:
The mainframe is moving into the cloud. That's a new compute. So it needs to be able to be unplugged and not have an impact to the end users and make sure that I'm meeting all the security protocols, that all my databases are secured and mapped. And there's things that we can. Do encryption at rest, things like that, that exists now within some of these tools that exist on the platform.

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