This blog is for Mainframe Modernization professionals to discuss and share perspectives, point of views and best practices around key trending topics. Discover the ART and science of mainframe modernization.

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Why is Legacy Modernization a key Influencer for your Tech. Strategy this year?

Gartner has named Intelligent Digital Mesh as the strategic trend of 2018. In a technology driven business model, higher level of automation using Artificial Intelligence, personalized end-user experience and Digitization of Business enables an organization to become a digital enterprise. However, the existing legacy systems like Mainframe and AS400 hold organizations back from being able to adopt newer technologies; almost making Legacy Modernization irremissible for large scale transformation. In this blog, I'm penning down my views on why and how Legacy Modernization is required to make your systems 'Intelligent'.



Intelligent Systems

Organizations seek multiple ways of eliminating redundant, paper-based work to improve application efficiency and create competitive edge which comes from automation in the form of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Rules Engine, etc. This requires the technology landscape to be agile and flexible. Legacy modernization solution helps migrate outdated technologies to newer platforms such as Open Source System and Cloud, which are more suitable for deployment of Analytics and Machine Learning and harvesting key business rules from the code which can be loaded onto Rules Engine for changing business needs.

Embarking on a Digitization Campaign requires an analysis of existing environment to define a roadmap and choose the appropriate target platform. The dependency on Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to understand the existing environment delays the modernization project. Hence, using Artificial Intelligence on log files, current code base etc., helps provide recommendations for improvements to the existing system. So based on these analysis,

  • Application/system improvement: Recurring application/system issues can be fixed/improved and overall system downtime can be reduced.
  • Process improvement: Insights help in improving the overall application process by creating new applications e.g. a password management app and a reduced resource overhead.
  • Alert system: It is easy to use these reports with an alerting system to generate active alerts for proactive response.

Data is one of the most valuable assets that can act as a source of innovation. But migrating data from legacy system involves multiple challenges such as EBCIDIC format, varying data types, metadata, etc. Migrating to a Data Warehouse also incurs additional costs of analyzing and profiling of data. Therefore, the target platform should be able to support large volume of data irrespective of the format that can be achieved through Data Lake (with Data Lake, raw data can be stored from all sources and can be transformed whenever required, thus enabling the flexibility to install compatible tools for generating insights).

The key business rules and logic are ingrained into the code which require significant effort to adapt to the changing business needs. To ease this, these rules can be separated from code and fed into a rules engine. This will provide flexibility to business leaders to change the business logic as and when required.

Recently, Mainframe have also come up with features such as Java in Mainframe and zAnalytics to reduce customer attrition. Adoption of Intelligent in the organization coupled with the right strategy can provide IT leaders with innumerable benefits and legacy modernization will play a key role in achieving the same.

In my next blog, I will share my thoughts on the role of Legacy Modernization in "Digital" and "Mesh" strategies. Meanwhile, I'll be happy to hear your thoughts, suggestions and feedback.



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