Modernization: Why AWS, Microsoft, and Google Have Placed Their Trust in Micro Focus

Misty Decker’s 30-year career can be described in two words: mainframes and people. A frequent speaker and advocate for mainframe and COBOL modernization, Misty is Director of Product Marketing at Micro Focus and serves on the Open Mainframe Project’s Governing Board and chairs the Modernization Working Group of the Linux Foundation.

The technology behind major modernization efforts

You may have noticed the numerous press announcements that Micro Focus has released over the last several years about the partnerships we’ve struck with the major cloud providers. Our technology makes products and services like the AWS Mainframe Modernization Service and Google Cloud Dual Run possible. We have a strategic partnership with AWS and a long history of partnership with Microsoft.

Large organizations are increasingly turning to our products to modernize their valuable core IT applications, opening avenues to continuous innovation and the ability to respond more quickly to dynamic changes in the market. AG Insurance found that their modernization project also transformed their culture to foster greater collaboration. Kmart Australia‘s work with Micro Focus unlocked avenues for faster innovation.

So well established is Micro Focus’ expertise in mainframe modernization that we were asked to provide input to proposed government regulations. Not surprisingly, Micro Focus leaders are frequent speakers at mainframe-related conferences, including the upcoming GSE UK conference, the recent Open Mainframe Project, and the SHARE conference this past August.

Why now?

Among other things, the COVID pandemic proved that rather than providing a safe tack, doing nothing with core applications actually poses substantial risks. While the increasingly dynamic business environment demonstrated that core mainframe applications—often written in COBOL or PL/I—were extremely reliable, organizations still struggled to adapt to changing business needs. At Micro Focus, we’ve been saying this all along. Now, however, the urgent need for modernization reached critical levels for organizations that had yet to address the issue. It’s true: Modernization is now mainstream.

With organizations now convinced that they need to modernize, the next question is how best to proceed. Recent research by Vanson Bourne found that 72% of industry decision makers prefer modernization over rip-and-replace strategies. For its part, The Standish Group analyzed thousands of projects to identify why some projects succeed and others failed. It found that an “infinite flow” of continuous modernization was significantly more successful than other strategies. Derek Britton has argued that technology is an ecosystem, with individual parts that need to evolve together. Senior Editor of TechBeacon, Joe Stanganelli, explored the choice between modernizing in place and replatforming.

Why Micro Focus?

With more organizations looking to modernize, whether by leveraging their mainframe investments or by moving applications to cloud, why have they chosen to partner with Micro Focus? In part because we’ve been helping organizations modernize mainframe and COBOL applications for decades. In fact, Micro Focus successfully deploys on an average of about one new project every week. This in-depth experience led us to create the Modernization Maturity Model, a resource to help organizations plan their unique modernization journeys.

We also actively participate in forward-looking projects that serve the industry. One such opportunity is the COBOL Working Group of the Open Mainframe Project, which seeks to educate both mainframe veterans and relative newcomers about the value of the language and the applications written in it. This working group is now launching new research into how COBOL can be brought forward to the next phase of modern IT. We’ve also launched a new Modernization Working Group, which will create a cross-industry definition of modernization, and create a repository of information to help you decide the best path forward for your specific situation.

Broadest range of solution options

In addition to our experience and leadership, our breadth of modernization solutions remains unmatched by other solution providers. Modernization can be viewed through three lenses—Application, Process and Infrastructure—and we have technologies that support each. For applications on a mainframe, our host connectivity solutions support zero-footprint access, integration into non-mainframe security and robotic process automation. Our mainframe solutions include support for modern code management and integration with mobile and cloud. For COBOL applications on any platform, Visual COBOL offers a modern development environment. Enterprise Suite provides all the tools you need to move mainframe applications to other servers and continue the modernization journey from there.

Get started on your modernization journey

Explore your options for transforming your applications, process and infrastructure with the lowest cost and least risk. Contact us for your free 1-day assessment, where we’ll outline the options best suited to your specific situation.

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