Clients continue to contend with aging legacy systems, websites and mobile apps that don’t provide the modern user experience their customers expect. Many of these organizations have mainframes and are looking to replace COBOL and other applications with modern application stacks. Rarely – if ever - is a “big-bang” replacement the right answer.

Challenges in Application Modernization

Gartner tells us that “huge ‘all-or-nothing’ modernization programs often fail to meet expectations.”

Of the “lessons learned” they provide concerning this process, several stand out to GTSG:

  • Clients make the mistake of prioritizing modernization efforts based on age rather than function: stated another way, best practice is to focus on the business decision, not an IT-driven agenda
  • Sometimes there’s a belief- which can become emotional- that traditional systems are always more expensive
  • Enterprise application portfolios are typically too large to effectively discover and map dependencies

The answer is always in the analysis: a business-led, IT supported view of the entire mainframe landscape, to define the business benefits of a platform change, including the costs of transformation.

The Right Mainframe Workload, The Right Way

We work with dozens of mainframe shops each year, and frequently observe clients taking far longer to sunset the platform than they had planned.  Preventing this scenario requires measurable and achievable objectives.

When our clients ask for a strategy, we look at the key processes they want to modernize, and then:

  • Document the Current State: Before changing platforms, we must understand both
    • the required performance characteristics of the workload, and
    • all of the interrelationships among applications, databases and services, to be able to anticipate cost, performance and availability impacts.

GTSG is the only firm recognized by Gartner Research for both mainframe expertise and for what Gartner calls “Hybrid Cloud Workload Placement Strategy.”

  • Develop a Future State Vision: understand priorities to improve business function, with an understanding of marketplace alternatives. We map solutions into an “urgency vs readiness” matrix and create an execution roadmap.

GTSG has this done deep discovery work for mission-critical programs, including the

  • replacement and decommissioning of the core mainframe applications of a multi-billion dollar insurance company,
  • hybrid cloud workload placement strategy of a major health care payer.

We provide the analysis you require, at the right level of detail to support measurable near-term successes, with the experience and perspective you need to avoid

  • the waste of scope overreach and
  • the danger of missing the connections among applications, databases and services, which can result in service interruption or performance degradation.

To plan your transition the right way, contact Mainframe@GTSG.com