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 transforming your development, testing, or application workload deployment strategy and technology.
Modernizing your development practices can dramatically improve throughput of application deliveries as well as saving a lot of operating costs. By exploiting best-in-class IDE technology running under Windows, you can very quickly expand CPU capacity for each developer, eliminating resource contention and improving delivery times. Concerns over skills for COBOL because of the difficulty in attracting new staff to an old development environment can be addressed by using best of breed IDE tech such as Eclipse/Visual Studio. These environments bring a new level of collaboration into the teams, and improve quality of core and composite enterprise applications.
Modernizing your testing practices can break down existing capacity barriers and help QA teams and developers meet schedules on time and in budget. Capacity and throughput is a challenge and quality is a constant concern – moving application testing to a more accessible and cost-effective environment 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 front-end (Java, C#) developers providing an unprecedented level of application assurance.
Modernizing your application workload deployment strategy to embrace the emerging, broader choice 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, possibly as part of a consolidated zEnterprise system, coupled with significant investment in mainframe support from Micro Focus makes reviewing deployment options a genuine opportunity for improvement, one which is already exploited by hundreds of clients. Tens of thousands of MIPS are already happily running in production on contemporary platforms.
Smart technology choices enable organizations to renew and even improve the value of mainframes and how quickly and cost-effectively systems can be delivered by and for them. Cost savings and improvements in capacity achieved through modernization release time and resources for IT innovations, as they aim to tackle emerging requirements of social, mobile, cloud and big data. 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.
Micro Focus supports the evolution of the IBM mainframe and zEnterprise platforms, and the latest Micro Focus Mainframe Solution offerings enable organizations to exploit and harness the real value provided by the new IBM environment, and also provide unprecedented improvements to the processes and technology to maximize the value of the mainframe world. For more information, see http://www.microfocus.com/solutions/mainframesolution/