The mainframe has historically been the natural choice to run mission-critical business applications for the enterprise. While developments in processor technology mean that Linux®, UNIX® and Windows Servers® have long been able to deliver mainframe performance at a fraction of the cost, as well as offering a more flexible environment to respond to business change, the options for CIOs for progress and development often remain constrained by the existing technology footprint of the mainframe environment. With many business-critical applications written for example in PL/I, prospects of moving such vital applications away from the mainframe have always been considered too daunting and risky a task to undertake.
It is estimated that annual operational expenditure on core enterprise systems written in PL/I exceeds $1bn. Despite this, many of the PL/I systems typically still exist because there are no packaged applications that are able to provide the unique and sophisticated functionality required. This means CIOs are reluctant to take the risk of rewriting or replacing them when such a high level of intellectual capital remains embedded within these systems.
Therefore CIOs typically remain limited to continuing to develop, test and deploy every PL/I application on the mainframe and swallow the phenomenal costs associated with this. In recent years, with organisations looking to tackle the mounting IT debt caused by years of tight budgets and cost reductions, addressing these issues that surround legacy mainframe applications is increasingly becoming a critical factor to success.
Fortunately a low-risk alternative to retaining, retiring, re-writing or replacing existing PL/I applications now exists – Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition for PL/I – the only integrated cross platform PL/I system migration product on the market.
This product is the first complete, cross-platform migration solution that enables mainframe PL/I applications to be moved from an IBM® mainframe to Linux®, Unix® or Windows Server® platforms, with minimal change, where they can be operated for a fraction of the cost. It enables the bulk of PL/I application code to be migrated without change at a significantly reduced risk and provides support for COBOL and all other key IBM mainframe subsystems used by PL/I applications.
The benefit that this will bring for many IT departments is that they will be able to self-fund ongoing PL/I application modernisation by reinvesting a proportion of the annual operating cost savings, which can be as much as 70 percent, into modernisation and innovation.
By providing a mainframe PL/I application delivery and deployment environment off the mainframe, Micro Focus is changing the game – revolutionising how PL/I applications and key IT services are delivered. By retaining the existing intellectual property, by reducing the amount of change and therefore the risk, and by taking a huge amount of operating cost away, organisations are able to create an application infrastructure that is fit to deliver value for years to come.