Migrate, modernize or manage your mainframe systems?
A guide to understanding your options for a sustainable business strategy
For decades, mainframes have been the workhorses of the enterprise and they remain the backbone of legacy systems. While they deliver steady, predictable results, new technologies like cloud deliver enhanced performance with greater speed and flexibility. This creates a challenge for managers: how can they address the importance of the mainframe for critical infrastructure and processes and, at the same time, take advantage of new opportunities presented by modern technology?
While there isn’t one simple solution for this puzzle, there are several strategies that can help solve it.
Zeroing in on the right approach
The workloads that are handled by (or depend on) mainframes often lie at the heart of the enterprise, making them seem indispensable or to be treated with utmost caution. At the same time, mainframes tend to be both inflexible and expensive, making them ideal candidates for modernization efforts.
But where do organizations begin? While outcomes cannot be impacted, every manager is keen to improve performance.
When it comes to addressing legacy mainframe systems, a holistic approach is required. There are three main routes to follow— migrate to maximize performance and results, modernize to make the most of the massive potential that comes with the latest technologies, and manage existing systems and processes to maintain their effectiveness.
Let’s take a look at what each of these entails:
● Migrating mainframe workloads from static, on-premises installations in corporate data centers can help you get out of expensive solutions while taking advantage of your partners’ advanced expertise. This is increasingly important because the diminishing opportunities in mainframes are putting a premium on talent and experience. A Mainframe-as-a-Service (MaaS) solution can help manage costs while enabling a thorough and ongoing evaluation of future mainframe requirements. At the same time, new efficiencies can be realized by using modern Microsoft infrastructure and apps like Microsoft 365, Teams, and SharePoint.
● Modernization efforts will deliver large gains, and further possibilities will develop as these efforts continue. The best course is to introduce change incrementally, recognizing that a complete infrastructure replacement is neither practical nor easily achieved and that short-term wins and lessons learned can be leveraged to produce an ever-increasing cycle of improved performance and results. Ultimately, modernization enables organizations to use powerful new tools such as advanced data analytics and AI/ML, making them more agile and innovative, improving reliability and performance, and lowering costs.
● Managing ties together the overall effort, merging the different aspects of the transformed compute infrastructure. This includes streamlining mainframe operations through automation and process improvements that improve availability and lower maintenance costs. While migration unlocks value and frees enterprises from the limitations of legacy infrastructure, and modernization enables more efficient operations and enhanced capabilities, it takes a robust foundation to effectively manage operations through the transformation process and into the future.
Transforming legacy mainframes to future-fit systems
Mainframes are so deeply embedded in the enterprise that addressing every aspect of their physical and operational processes and outputs is a complex puzzle to solve. The stakes are high, the journey is a challenge to navigate, and the skills required to succeed are broad and varied. Atos offers a valuable and effective approach to addressing every mainframe challenge that your enterprise faces. Whichever approach you decide to adopt — whether to migrate, modernize or manage — our MIII solution takes into account the criticality of this decision and the sensitive role of the mainframe.