The case for postponing mainframe migration has eroded

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And the path to migration is clearer.

IT leaders face enormous pressure to help their organisations respond faster to changing market conditions. For many however, the mainframe environments that have supported their growth are failing to deliver the flexibility they now need.

The answer for many mainframe users is migration to the cloud, and while the process can be long and costly, but the case for postponing it has eroded – finding people who can keep older mainframe applications running and keeping the applications secure aren’t trivial tasks.

Many more organisations are now looking at digital transformation and the modernisation of their core business systems, says Brent Butchard, regional sales director for Australia and New Zealand at Micro Focus. But mainframe migration requirements have shifted.

“Five years ago, it was around moving to the cloud, rewriting a new application in a five-to-seven-year horizon,” Butchard says. “Now there's an expectation that we'll be in a hybrid world in the near term and the businesses are realising that they need to move their technology closer, to be agile and leverage new capabilities. This requires results of the business annually, not at the end of the project.”

IT leaders also need to consider how they’ll use their new cloud environments to make optimal use of customer data.

“The customer data is the gold that will allow them to have unique interactions with their customers and improve their products and services over time,” Butchard points out. “The inability to leverage this customer data and use it to help improve the business processes is what's holding them back.”

This calls for native cloud services, Butchard says. What’s needed is “AI and analytics from the cloud directly integrated into their core systems, not wrapped around like a layer of sticky tape, a migration strategy accelerates this path to cloud services including AI at lower cost and risk than re-write options,” he says.

The general manager for Micro Focus’ applications and connectivity product group, Neil Fowler, says the migration strategy being used by IT leaders now is to deliver data accessibility quickly by automating the migration process.

“Once it's there (in the cloud), they can leverage the core business logic and the data, (using) artificial intelligence or machine learning, and build a more complete solution and a platform,” Fowler says.

Many companies don’t have established agile practices for migration, he says: “So the first thing we need to do is really help them with automation in terms of their testing, continuous integration, continuous development as part of a DevSecOps pipeline.”

Micro Focus’ Modernization Maturity Model provides a framework to help customers understand how they can deliver their business requirements in the fastest, most cost-effective and least risky manner.

“It really helps them understand how they can leverage what they have as they build a platform for innovation for the future,” Fowler says.

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