The global onset of Covid-19 challenged organisations and businesses in completely unprecedented ways. Whilst we’ve found it to be clear that many global enterprises are making a strategic move to the Cloud in the wake of the pandemic, others are still spending a majority of their IT budgets on maintaining legacy mainframe systems.
Not only can this reliance be unsustainable from a cost perspective, but the resource-heavy data centres that house these monolithic systems are projected to account for 3.2 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Sustainability is proving to be a concern in just about every meaning of the term. Cloud architectures, wielding the power of multi-tenancy and scale, can house various workloads with only a fraction of the energy consumption of traditional infrastructure deployments; which charge by MIPS (million instructions per second) or MSUs (million service units) and swallow up substantial amounts of energy as they do so. Through migration to the Cloud, companies will be able to significantly reduce not only their carbon footprint, but also their operational expenditure as a whole. Consider these best practices to start planting the seeds for Cloud migration:
Assess your current environment
Understanding your application portfolio is essential for any Cloud migration project. By using an application analysis tool you can develop the knowledge and necessary documentation around your portfolio, particularly the components and relationships. This will help inform decisions to ensure you can work effectively with your IT estate – both now and in the future.
At Advanced, we always begin every Cloud migration initiative with an Automated Assessment. This alone can benefit customers by allowing redundant code to be eliminated, reducing the total cost of ownership and simplifying any future migration initiative. With our approach, customers start saving money before the modernisation project even begins.
Establish what you want to achieve
There is no blanket approach to modernisation suitable for all organisations, and the results of your initial assessment should help you to choose a strategy that will ensure a fit for your unique requirements and timeline. What is the goal of your migration? Will it cut your organisation’s environmental impact? Will it increase business agility and attract new customers? What will your potential return on investment (ROI) be?
Consider the most suitable Cloud migration solution
Not every migration project requires a full override or severance from legacy mainframes, or even a replacement of them. Two particularly popular approaches to consider are:
- Rehosting (also referred to as ‘Replatforming’ or ‘Lift and Shift’). This is a proven, mature modernisation approach which provides an environment that runs on distributed platforms (including your favourite Cloud provider), whilst emulating the legacy operating environment. The emulation capability minimises the amount of change that occurs when migrating legacy systems to a distributed platform. It is a relatively low-cost, low-risk way to reduce operating expenditure and maintain the value existing business rules provide. But since the legacy code is retained as-is, this option doesn’t address the shortage of legacy developers capable of working with the applications, unlike a refactoring approach would.
- Refactoring (often referred to as ‘Automated Conversion’) retains functional equivalence while translating core legacy applications to fully maintainable, object-oriented Java or C# code. This means once the legacy application and database are transformed, developers can extend application functionality directly without having to navigate the original legacy code to do it. Critical business logic from the legacy system is preserved, whilst enabling deeper integration with other Java or C# workloads and additional customisation to meet evolving business requirements. It can also be completed in stages, on an ongoing basis, and is typically more cost-effective – meaning that companies can invest in their Cloud-ready approach and continually improve their internal systems without interruptions for customers. This option is best when existing business logic is generally meeting the business needs – if it’s not, then you may have to consider a full system replacement.
Enabling a greener business environment
Ultimately, by modernising the most urgent aspects of their legacy systems, companies will be able to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by minimising the amount of power required to fuel these technologies. Our upcoming 2021 Mainframe Modernisation Business Barometer Report examines the current mainframe market and the challenges facing enterprises worldwide with annual revenues of more than US$1 billion – including the demand for greener business initiatives that radiate from every corner of the globe.
- On-demand webinar | Inside the Largest Modernisation Project in UK Government: Department for Work and Pensions