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VIDEO

Measure Success for Mainframe Modernization: Episode 4 of 5

November 13, 2019
July 15, 2020

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

Video Transcription:

Kevin Hansen:
So within government, Steve, there's obviously been laws passed to help agencies and leadership in the government measure the success of these modernization projects. [FITARA 00:00:13] is certainly one of those out there that, on a six month cycle, allows for the agencies to be evaluated against their modernization plans, as one of the things that that talks about.

Kevin Hansen:
The MGT act is another law obviously that was passed in 2017 and really provides new funding mechanisms for agencies to invest in these types of migration, migrating these workloads to the cloud. So how we measure and roll up the success of these projects to leadership within the government is extremely important.

Kevin Hansen:
Cost is a big factor. Obviously with MGT, MGT is based on savings, so if they're going to make an investment into a program under MGT then an agency needs to repay that funding within three years. The ability to generate savings is really, really important to that funding mechanism. Then of course, like I said, measuring and reporting that up through FITARA really reflects where they're at as an agency to the leadership. What other success factors or maybe steps have you seen to successful projects?

Steve Steuart:
Right. Our mantra has always been, for the last 20 years, equal to or better than the mainframe. Now what we have in the cloud is that I can not only do equal to or better, but a heck a lot better because of the additional framework. To ensure success, we need to validate.

Steve Steuart:
Let me just take a step back. These mainframe folks today, a lot of them probably don't have test automation or DevOps or Agile. They're still probably in a Waterfall and using some scripts around that. So this is a great opportunity if you're going to do a replatform, to introduce DevOps and Agile. Those are two worlds, but there's tools from Microfocus that allow you to do that, either stay on the mainframe or start using it as part of your migration. I need to validate, the agency needs to validate once I transformed a code, does it work exactly the same?

Kevin Hansen:
Right.

Steve Steuart:
The way to do that is we can use tools like UFT and do model based testing. We can do recording playbacks. We could do a lot of different things for that, but these are the opportunities that agencies have to validate that it's there. That's one thing I would really hope heavily focus on because they probably haven't been fully tested. This is when it's really going to get tested.

Kevin Hansen:
Yeah. You bring up an interesting point. There are kind of mainframe silos in government agencies, it's kind of separated from maybe some of the Agile development and DevOps activity that's going on, on the citizen facing application side.

Steve Steuart:
Right.

Kevin Hansen:
What I'm hearing is it's important from a success criteria standpoint to address your DevOps situation on your mainframe as you're modernizing and migrating to the cloud.

Steve Steuart:
Right. It's exactly right. The word is investment because you will get a return of that investment and that return is when you do a migration, you're able to do test automation and continue on your journey. I mean that is critical for this. I don't know how to process a statement or something within an agency, right? I know how to transform. I need to validate it. So the options are agency test it, which is heavily manpower or invest in test automation to validate it for you.

Steve Steuart:
Then that's a totally reusable tool downstream, as you continue on your DevOps journey. So this is a great opportunity to invest in that because you will get a return, especially when you look at the hosting providers or your costs for maintaining your mainframe. We're seeing anywhere between 60 to 70% cost reductions because you don't have to procure a source code management up there. You don't have to do all these things. All those tools are within the framework. So when you do that mapping, take those savings and then apply.

Steve Steuart:
Normally when we talk to our customers, look at a five year plan, a do nothing plan. I'm not going to do anything for five years, but I'm going to pay. Let's say you're spending, I don't know, $10 million a year for your mainframe, that's $50 million. If I'm able to save 50% really conservatively, that means you have $5 million year one and if we do average project is, I don't know, 12 to 15 months, then that tells you your ROI that you're able to invest in tools and DevOps and going into the different frameworks year two, three, four and five and then you can pay back MGT.

Kevin Hansen:
It sounds like modernization benefits and savings could go beyond your traditional application. You mentioned DevOps. There's probably an opportunity for artificial intelligence and to make that part of your modernization effort and migration plan.

Steve Steuart:
Right, and that's part of, if you look at all of the cognitive services abilities, creating a chat bot for your mainframe applications or your COBOL applications while it's in the cloud. But we haven't talked about RPAs, robotic process automations or BPAs, business process automation that are a lot of tasks that you can now automate and provide that as a service to the constituents.

Steve Steuart:
These are things that are, right now it's a whole new world and I can do Power BI, I can do all these things that you can't do before. A lot of times you have your users asking, "Can you do this?" "Well not right now I can't." You can with all of these things are available to you, once go to a cloud native deployment.

Kevin Hansen:
Tearing down this firewall between the mainframe and the rest of the organization from an IT perspective is really important because you need to address these new demands.

Steve Steuart:
Right. But I'm sure within agencies they go, "Where's the mainframe?" "Oh, the mainframe folks are over there. The Java guys are over there." Once you go together, they're going to be using the same source code management system. You can do portfolio assessments of your applications. You can see defect tracking altogether, because everything's going to be in the same common platform.

Kevin Hansen:
You start standardizing your DevOps.

Steve Steuart:
Start standardizing.

Kevin Hansen:
Your AI integration, your security operations, and so on and so forth.

Steve Steuart:
Right. We do sessions of the art of the possible. What would you like to do? What are the things that is holding you back? Just give me your Christmas list and I can be Santa Claus, but we leverage the cloud for that.

Kevin Hansen:
So it really does open up this platform.

Steve Steuart:
It opens up so many things.

Kevin Hansen:
Yeah. Wow.

Steve Steuart:
Then you're able to coexist with folks that understand how to do an RPA and BPA. Think about it, I didn't know how to do RPAs, BPA, and I'm going to do one, a bot for a COBOL app.

Kevin Hansen:
Yeah. Interesting.

Steve Steuart:
This is what Micro Focus brings to the table.

Kevin Hansen:
Good story.

Steve Steuart:
Yeah.

Steve Steuart

Global Head of Mainframe Migration and Modernization
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