A time to modernize

Introduction

Digital transformation is today’s key business imperative to ensure organizations remain relevant in a constantly evolving and competitive landscape. That landscape is changing almost daily as the eclipsing effects of the pandemic sweep across the commercial sector, disrupting everything in its path.

It is a time of unprecedented change. Unprecedented increases in demand that puts pressure on capacity, availability and operating cost of these systems. It is extra pressure for the IT landscape, that is already overburdened and highly complex, as it strives to provide business value flexibly, effectively and cost-efficiently. The results underscore the difficulty: in 2018, McKinsey reported that the success rate for large-scale digital transformations was below 30 percent.

Smarter Transformation – Modernization Your Way

Evidence from a recent Micro Focus commissioned survey indicates that 92% of core business applications remain strategic. Leveraging the unique value that is contained within these systems means that replacement or wholescale rewrite is highly risky – reflected in the high percentage of failed IT projects, 70% as reported by the Standish Group.

So how to protect that value but also achieve the necessary seismic change? In a word: Modernization. That is what our 2020 study showed – 71% see modernization as the most viable option, and nearly two-thirds looking to modernize this year.

But each modernization plan is unique, and rarely limited to a single element. BMC’s latest mainframe market survey noticed significant growth in executive level importance placed on both the mainframe (59%) and the cloud (45%) as priority, suggesting a blended or hybrid approach to platform strategy, and that modernization is taking place across the IT ecosystem. We also observed the rise (42%) of organizations are seeking to shift core business workloads to the Cloud, while a majority are already using agile processes and test automation to accelerate delivery times. What emerges is a sense that customer strategies will vary, but the widespread importance placed on modernization as a vehicle for change.

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Supporting Customers’ Journeys

Modernization must be holistic, and Micro Focus look at modernization across applications, processes and infrastructure. Our goal is to support our customer’s preferred modernization route (mainframe-centric, cloud-first, DevOps-driven, service-oriented) and help map that journey against a balance of cost, risk and speed. The objective is to accelerate digital transformation by delivering incremental modernization across these three distinct but inter-related areas.

Micro Focus have been successfully delivering modernization projects over 3 decades, equating to thousands of successful projects and engagements. Supported by tens of millions of dollars’ annual investment in our products and technologies, our unrivalled experience and best practices make Micro Focus ideally placed to support our clients’ modernization journeys.

Our best-practice framework, the Micro Focus Modernisation Maturity Model, then looks at the key considerations for any modernization project, to help plan the journey in detail.

There could be many drivers for modernization: a cloud-first strategy to provide cost-effective, elastic capacity and agility in providing core infrastructure to support the business, perhaps. Core applications from a mainframe or distributed platform might not suit deployment in a scale-out environment. Different transactional characteristics, or data locality, means that corresponding changes are required in the application. This new environment will typically depend on automated processes as part of a DevOps toolchain.

All these conversations are vital elements of the plan, to ensure the journey, and the solution, are appropriate. (And yes, modernization supports all these drivers).

Technology Talks

Our commitment to customer success means a relentless energy on technical innovation, just as we have been doing without fail for decades. Our modernization technology being further extended again this year, for example, with capabilities to support application code slicing – extracting key business logic and make it accessible as a web or RESTful service. The resultant API can deploy in a container and then orchestrated with Kubernetes, on premise or in the cloud. Such innovations help accelerate the development and deployment of core, strategic business applications as part of a modernisation journey aligned with your digital transformation requirements. I cannot wait to unveil the next set of technology this summer. Be sure to attend one of our webinars.

Micro Focus’ Modernization vision has supported countless customers on their journey of transformation. We were delighted to hear from just a few of them during the recent Micro Focus Universe event. Highlights included:

– DXC – excellent case studies from DXC’s insurance and banking teams, including a description of the creation of DXC Technology’s new Celeriti banking solution.
– Empire Life – The Canadian insurer’s transformational journey to a modern, flexible application infrastructure
– FICO – Fair Isaac described how Micro Focus technology supports the development activities for both mainframe and distributed versions of a core financial services product
– FordonsData – The leading Nordic dealer management technology described their modernization journey using COBOL, agile and DevOps
– Al Rajhi Bank – AR Bank in Dubai explained their journey to DevOps to accelerate IT transformation, with mainframe systems and Micro Focus change control at the heart of their program
– Infosys – our partner of the year explained how they were helping a major logistics organization re-platform to RedHat while protecting their prized application artefacts
– Nordea – The major Nordic financial services organization outlined their important application and infrastructure modernization project

The scale and diversity of these and many hundreds of customer stories is the true, clear measurement of what modernization means to us – putting the customer’s own needs at the heart of the journey. As one of our clients recently mentioned, “It is never too late to modernize. Working with Micro Focus has allowed us to leverage all of our COBOL functionality in a modern architectural roadmap that sets us up for the future.” Read the recent IDC Modernization brief here.

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