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Mainframe Application Modernization

Mainframes have powered mission-critical applications for many industries for more than 60 years, keeping airlines, global retailers, and other businesses humming. In fact, mainframes today handle 70% of the world’s production IT workloads, according to Aparna Sharma, general manager, hybrid cloud services, IBM Consulting.

This is precisely the conversation I had recently with Sharma and Cristina Potra, leading the Azure customer engineering team for mainframes modernization, Microsoft. We discussed mainframe application modernization today—and why it is so important.

“As I work with clients every day and I talk to them about this topic, there are three things that I hear consistently,” Sharma says.

  1. Business agility: Everybody is going through massive digital transformation. They want to bring the same business agility to the mainframe applications as well.
  2. Skills and risk mitigation with talent: There is a knowledge continuity here.
  3. Cost: Applications have grown, and workloads have proliferated.

It is no wonder, considering the productivity gains, faster insights, better decisionmaking, and improved employee output that comes with it.

“Many times, we see customers wanting mission-critical applications, so their business is running on mainframes,” Potra adds. “As they are onboarding and thinking about their modernization strategy, the journey to modernize their infrastructure, mainframes are at the center of it.”

Together, Microsoft and IBM are partnering to make sure customers can have a smooth transition, whatever path they want to take to modernization. The companies are working together to provide a hybrid approach to leveraging the power of the mainframe and the power of the cloud because the companies recognize there is no one-size fits all solution.

The benefits here are vast. Being able to surround the mainframe with cloud capabilities creates many news and exciting opportunities. For example, companies now can have the mainframe talk to the existing infrastructure in the cloud and link the mainframe to other Azure infrastructure they already have applied.

Additionally, it will enable a new type of business agility and speed, reduce risk, and unleash all the innovation available to businesses. Still, we need to always keep in mind digital transformation is a still journey, no matter how challenging it might appear on the surface. Some companies are more mature than others. Every company has different goals and objectives. The key is always to keep people, process, and technology top of mind as we move forward in this new era of innovation.

If you would like more tips and strategies about how to begin or continue this journey, make sure to check out the recent episode of The Peggy Smedley Show podcast, which is all about mainframe application modernization.

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