Customer expectations drive business processes to move at a speed never imagined. Even when dealing with sensitive information involving customer profiles, financial data and highly-regulated information, companies seek speed in their applications to satisfy customer demands. To meet these expectations, business applications must present the relevant information to users in a timely fashion and in a meaningful context. Unfortunately, some key large enterprise content is marooned on mainframes which makes it notoriously difficult to integrate and display in conjunction with data and content from other platforms.
Mainframes remain a proven, stable environment and still process more than three trillion dollars’ worth of transactions each day. Almost three-quarters of all enterprise data resides on mainframes and more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies locate core business on mainframes. But dependence on mainframes can result in slower ability to adopt new technologies, transform business processes and evolve the customer experience.
You need to unleash your business applications, yet they are tethered to a mainframe, and even when integrations exist they are often ad hoc.
To top off this conundrum, mainframe application knowledge is in decline. As such, your enterprise is at risk of falling behind, or worse, getting completely left behind.
Can digital transformation – often defined by speed to deployment – move forward for businesses anchored to legacy mainframe technology?
As organizations push through their journey to digital transformation, the challenges surrounding their mainframe platforms remain unsolved. It is important for organizations to recognize and mitigate these challenges so as not to lose the momentum in their journey to modernization. These three issues can derail digital transformation in a mainframe-based organization:
- Integrating mainframe systems with newer technology – In today’s era of digital transformation, organizations are embracing modern technologies and platforms such as cloud, big data, automation and mobile at breakneck speed. The siloed design of mainframe systems inherently limits cross-platform collaboration. Mainframe-connected APIs are still not readily available to facilitate interconnectivity of technology. Moreover, the mainframe’s legacy interfaces, developed in a world that existed on daily and batch processing, do not match the demand of real-time data required in today’s environment.
- Budget risks due to unpredictable, surprise charges and lack of performance optimization – Mainframe expenses represent up to 40 percent of companies’ IT budgets. Out of this share, almost a third is dedicated solely to software license and maintenance costs. Enabling mainframe code to run efficiently is critical to controlling the license charges as the organizations are billed on peak activity commitment. Simply put, the usage patterns and demands on the mainframe can be unpredictable. Budgets can be at risk due to surprise charges if the peak activity commitment is exceeded, which may result in a colossal and unexpected bill at the end of the year.
- Diminishing skilled workforce – According to a Forrester study, mainframe organizations have lost 23 percent of their mainframe workforce in the last five years and have only been able to replace one out of every three experts lost. This limits an organization’s ability to innovate around mainframe systems and causes gaps in institutional mainframe knowledge needed to modernize.
IT should be the catalyst of innovation within an enterprise. While there are advances in mainframe DevOps, businesses still need access to critical information now, and that information must exist in a flexible, accessible environment to deliver optimal customer experiences.
To get the most from the journey to modernization, enterprise organizations must consider a path to cloud for critical business services and applications. Organizations should pursue platforms and providers that enable ease of integrations to other systems, including cloud-to-cloud, which provide performance and cost transparency, improved automation, ease of automation and reduced maintenance for planned and unplanned outages. The focus should not just be on meeting the business demands for today but for tomorrow as well.
Viewpointe can help organizations meet the challenge head on, break down silos and strategically address mainframe system modernization with a migration to on-premises infrastructure or hosted private cloud.
Our OnPointe for Print Stream & Image solution allows organizations to rapidly address cloud-to-cloud interconnectivity, system consolidation and mainframe retirement scenarios. We help organizations modernize systems to achieve significant savings through efficiency improvements, lowered operating expenses and improved overall performance. Best of all, it offers future-proofed price protection through a multi-year license, with set monthly payments and SLA-backed performance.
For financial services, or any data-rich industry or organization, how do you meet the mandates of fast delivery, scale and flexible application management? You establish a flexible solution that provides the freedom to continue to evolve as your customer demands and market shift. Let’s talk about how Viewpointe can help you get there.