In this series, we have outlined the journey of IT modernization to align the IT estate closer to business needs, while reducing costs and risk. Earlier blogs focused on the key first steps of looking at the entire IT application landscape and determine key metrics around cost, value, complexity and risk. The reason for this is simply because, if the IT department has the ability to understand its current application portfolio, the business can then be confident that the modernization strategy proposed by the IT team is accurate. This prioritizes the applications to be modernized and in what order.
In this blog post we discuss the enabling technology available to help modernize your chosen application subset(s).
The use of technology will be driven by the issues discovered during your application portfolio assessment and the modernization activities proposed, whether that is accomplished by moving development, testing, or application workload off the mainframe.
Taking development off the mainframe and onto Windows, for example, can dramatically expand CPU capacity for each developer, eliminating resource contention and improving delivery times. There may also be concerns over skills for COBOL because it is tricky to attract new staff to an old environment. Common tooling built on best of breed IDE tech such as Eclipse/VS resolves this, brings a new level of collaboration into the teams. It also improves quality and takes non-essential and costly activities off the mainframe
Moving application testing off the mainframe can break down capacity barriers and help developers meet schedules on time and in budget. Capacity and throughput is a challenge and quality is a constant concern – moving application testing makes it possible to complete testing phases faster and with higher quality because test cycles are not constrained by scarce mainframe processing power. In addition, the test environment can be expanded beyond traditional test teams to include business users and developers integrating SOA applications with the mainframe
Redistributing application workload using lower-cost platforms can deliver rapid cost savings in terms of mainframe MIPS or software costs, as well as provide much-needed flexibility for the remainder of the mainframe environment. Price performance of Windows UNIX or Linux coupled with significant investment in mainframe support from Micro Focus makes moving workload off a reality, a reality that is lived by hundreds of clients. Tens of thousands of MIPS are already happily running in production away from the host
Cost savings and improvements in capacity achieved through modernization release time and resources for IT innovations, such as meeting new mobile demands and giving customers or employees the ability to access business applications via the latest smartphone or tablet. By helping organizations re-use what they already have – proven and valuable IT assets – the modernization approach removes the degree of risk caused by IT change and enable improvements in operational efficiency, time to market and business alignment.
In the next and final blog post in this series, we will introduce the necessity to review and revisit modernization priorities in a regular cycle. As elements of the estate change, revisiting the portfolio assessment and re-measuring key metrics will be an important facet of IT’s continuous improvement.