We’re all going on a … modernization journey?

As a long-serving staff member of three whole weeks’ service, I’ve been able to get to grips with the Enterprise story. What I haven’t been able to do is make any vacation plans. They’ve had to be shelved for now.

Perhaps it’s the unfulfilled desire to get away for a week or two that’s been colouring my thinking, but I’m seeing several parallels between the Micro Focus Enterprise story, and the holiday journey I’m yet to take. Bear with me.

The route map

For me, every vacation starts with a plan and ends with filling a suitcase and jetting off. In between, would-be travellers must shop around for the best deal, book the trip, check travel restrictions – and more often than not, checking TripAdvisor to make sure the food’s edible and the rooms aren’t falling apart. On a personal note, I might also take a quick look at a government website to make sure my holiday destination isn’t at war with anyone. After that, it’s down to the journey.

The modernization journey for Micro Focus customers also includes stages of planning, preparation and careful checking before they are ready to deploy modernized core applications. Many of us draw up checklists to ensure successful holiday planning. The Micro Focus modernization journey includes Knowledge, Develop, Quality and Deploy with the ultimate destination the sun-drenched beach we call ‘improved IT results’.

Here’s what I have discovered…

To begin: why modernize applications?

According to Gartner and others, about 70% of the IT budget for many organizations are committed to ‘business as usual’ priorities – ensuring systems are maintained, up-to-date and compliant. These activities leave little resource to support innovation demands, such as big data, Cloud, web and mobile access. So, in other words, it’s a ‘staycation’. No expense, but no progress either.

But everyone needs a holiday, right? So if you want to head for pastures new, you have three options: rewrite, replace or what Micro Focus calls revamping. This is all about retaining your skills, processes and applications, but taking a new approach to how they are built and delivered. Harnessing the latest technology will free-up resource, expertise, and budget, to deliver more of that innovation. Revamping approach can be used alongside a re-write or replace strategy to help mitigate risk.

To return to our analogy, your options now include an adventure trip, a spa break, or a beach vacation. And with such wildly varying locations, the journeys are likely to be different every time.

Knowledge

Just as reliable research is key to a good holiday, accurate application information is vital for the success of the modernization journey. Micro Focus’ analysis capability provides business and technical insight into applications, reducing maintenance effort by 15-20%, and accelerating modernization projects. In vacation-planning terms, it’s like having a personal travel agent.

Develop

Developers are often limited by their environment, especially in terms of opportunities to focus on innovating. The Micro Focus Enterprise product set almost revolutionizes the z/OS application development by exploiting contemporary IDEs. This helps developers to be significantly more productive. It liberates subject matter experts to support innovation projects and enables new developers to become productive sooner.

In vacation terms, using a limited environment is like  taking a cheap package deal when you really need all-inclusive luxury. Which is why boosting developer productivity feels like an upgrade…

Quality

Micro Focus enhances quality in two ways – firstly by introducing flexibility into the testing environment. Today all z/OS application testing is conducted on z/OS partitions. Through Enterprise Test Server, Micro Focus offers the unique ability to conduct a subset of testing under Windows, to remove QA bottlenecks, and improve quality while reducing testing MIPS[1]. While you can’t test a vacation before you buy it, there are plenty of sources of information to help you make an informed decision. In vacations, as with manufacturer marketing material, buyers no longer have to rely on the glossy brochure.

Secondly, Micro Focus products improve the user experience of z/OS applications in days, rather than months. They will make users more efficient, or to enable fast mainframe application access from devices – such as iPads – to help satisfy business demand for ‘disruptive innovation’. In vacation terms, it is all about making your experience of a shared journey that bit better. You may be on the same plane, but one of you is sitting in business class.

Deploy

Micro Focus application deployment enables customers to redistribute production systems wherever the business needs them. Workload can be optimized and redistributed onto other zEnterprise partitions or alternative servers, for a ‘fit for purpose’ result. Other clients have cloned applications for deployment in different business units or territories, thereby controlling operating costs and providing unrivalled flexibility.

In vacation planning terms it is like deciding to get a taxi to the hotel rather than negotiate the local transport infrastructure. The right decision upstream delivers extra flexibility downstream – now you’re here sooner than the other people on the plane, what’s it to be? Champagne or a cocktail?

Each step can be done individually, or combined for real business impact – it’s up to you. Just like planning a vacation, you don’t have to do it all in one go. But, planning it properly is part of the journey, and the next stage should always be something to look forward to. But remember – the destination is really where you want to be. That’s when the vacation starts and life gets a little easier.

Enjoy your journey

 For a sunnier vacation, click here.

For more journeys, click here.


[1] Million Instructions Per Second.

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