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Building the Future of the Mainframe

Rocket Software

The mainframe has allegedly been down to its last breath since the advent of cloud computing more than a decade ago. Yet here we are – on the 60th anniversary of the mainframe – and it continues to be the backbone of enterprises all over the world.

Mainframes deliver the agility and security that enable modern disruptive technologies. With organizations rushing to get AI initiatives to market, mainframes have only proven to make Al better. By adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, businesses can combine the security and reliability of mainframe infrastructure with the agility of the cloud to implement Al across a blended, distributed environment.

Mainframes are not going away, so how do you make the most of your investment? The answer is not as simple as a rip-and-replace approach. Effective modernization happens when organizations are able to build on the strong foundation that exists within their IT infrastructure. As we look toward the future, every mainframe modernization effort should consider these steps.

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh!

Modernizing the mainframe starts with assessing existing technology and determining what needs to be updated. Everything should be in play – not just the infrastructure, but the apps running on it and the development and delivery pipelines that run through it.

By adopting modern development processes like DevOps and Agile methodologies, and leveraging technologies like APIs and middleware, businesses can simplify the modernization process and accelerate time-to-market for new applications and features.

Migrating to a hybrid cloud model enables businesses to leverage modern cloud-based solutions, containerization, and microservices architectures, laying the foundation for future growth, innovation, and competitive advantage in the digital age by modernizing technology infrastructure, applications, and development practices.

Go Hybrid

Selecting the right cloud provider and migration strategy, along with embracing cloud-native services, is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of cloud integration.

Content that benefits from dynamic scalability, ubiquitous access, and rapid deployment is well-suited for migration to the cloud. In contrast, data-intensive workloads requiring high throughput, low latency, and stringent security measures often remain optimal on the mainframe.

By embracing cloud technology, organizations can unlock new opportunities for innovation, accelerate time-to-market for new products and services, and achieve greater operational efficiency and cost savings.

Be Laser Focused on your Customers and Their Needs

Customer-centricity should be at the forefront of any modernization initiative and companies should ensure that they are prioritizing value and customer loyalty.

Modernization efforts should focus on external customer-facing applications and internal systems and processes that impact the overall customer experience – such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, billing platforms, and order management – improving operational efficiency, reducing manual errors, and enabling faster responses to customer inquiries and requests.

Doing so helps organizations differentiate themselves in the market, build stronger customer relationships, and drive long-term business growth and success.

Harness the Power of Data

In the context of mainframe modernization, businesses should leverage data to gain insights, optimize processes, and personalize customer experiences. By harnessing the power of data, organizations can unlock new opportunities, improve efficiency, and stay ahead of the competition in today's data-driven economy.

By integrating mainframe data with other internal and external data sources, organizations can break down data silos and gain a holistic view of their business operations, customer interactions, and market trends, enabling more informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Secure Everything

Migrating mainframe workloads to the cloud introduces new security risks related to data privacy, compliance, and shared responsibility models. Organizations must implement security controls and mechanisms to protect data in transit and at rest, enforce access controls and identity management policies, and monitor and audit user activity to detect and respond to unauthorized access attempts and security breaches. Regular security assessments and penetration tests should be done to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. By prioritizing security throughout the modernization journey, organizations can minimize the risk of security breaches, protect sensitive data, and maintain their customers' and stakeholders' trust and confidence.

The Future is Bright for the Mainframe

As it turns 60, the mainframe continues to plug along as the heart of the enterprise tech stack. Cloud has not displaced it – in fact, the best enterprise tech environments are integrating cloud and mainframe technology to power advanced data applications that drive and create new revenue streams for companies.

The mainframe predated most of the workers in today’s workforce – expect that to be true for future generations as well, making the modernization work we’re doing now mission-critical for ongoing success.

Learn more about how Rocket Software can help you on your modernization journey here.