One of the questions we get from organizations planning their digital transformation roadmap is whether applications can be migrated to the cloud during a modernization project.
It is possible to modernize and move legacy applications to the cloud simultaneously, during a process referred to as refactoring. At Anubex, this process starts with taking all the artefacts of an application or mainframe and converting them into native technologies on the new platform.
This means languages such as COBOL, Assembler or Natural get transformed to Java or C#, and data stores such as VSAM or Adabas get converted to relational databases.
When you should opt for this approach?
This approach is feasible and efficient when two conditions are met:
One of the main reasons for enterprises to modernize is reducing the costs associated with their IT infrastructure. Important cost savings can be achieved by either migrating applications supported by very expensive software, such as Adabas Natural, to COBOL, often staying on the mainframe; or by completely replacing the mainframe system with cheaper X86 systems supported by MS Windows, Unix or Linux Operating systems.
The access to talent is another factor that strongly influences the decision to move away from the mainframe. Old programming languages such as COBOL, Natural, PL1, EGL, ADS, or Assembler gradually disappeared from universities’ curriculum, which led to a skills crisis once the baby boomers started to retire.
Agility, flexibility and responsiveness are other essential conditions in today’s business environment to stay competitive and foster innovation. As digital technology disrupts business models and value chains, new players can make full use of technologies to respond to market demands from the very beginning. By contrast, current players are often hindered by mainframe systems that support their mission-critical applications.
Migrating legacy systems will not only give their core applications new capabilities but also grant access to exciting opportunities such as Cloud, AI, DevOps, CI/CD. It will enable them to quickly adapt, innovate, and shorten the time to market.
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.
Cloud services have evolved into a reliable technology and many cloud companies have the required expertise in complex business infrastructure. Large cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google are already providing services to many leading enterprises.
Others will follow, as the cloud technology matures and becomes the norm, and the modernization solutions diversify. At Anubex, we use an innovative process, powerful tools, and partner with the best technology companies to migrate mainframe workloads to the cloud, in a short time and controlled way, with a a 100% success rate.
Get a copy of our Mainframe Migration Playbook for Successful Transformation Projects to explore the most common questions about legacy application modernization.