Is it time to move your mainframe applications to the Cloud?
Blog //17-03-2020

Is it time to move your mainframe applications to the Cloud?

by Tim Jones, Managing Director - Application Modernization

The increasing demand for flexible, remote working means core business systems need to be accessed anywhere, anytime. This requires extra security, as the number of access points to systems continue to rise. The Cloud offers many benefits to help with this, including increased data security, with baseline protections provided as standard such as authentication, access control and encryption - while allowing users 24/7 access in any location.

However, what if your organization is still running business-critical applications on mainframes, such as IBM mainframe and OpenVMS? Are you able to react quickly to changes in the market and variations in work life patterns? Now is the time to consider your application modernization approach and review your journey to the Cloud.

There are three different Cloud destinations in terms of the structure of the application, not the platform, which can be achieved through a short or long-term journey. The option which is right for you will depend on your organizational and IT goals.


This is the shortest Cloud journey, which also requires the least amount of effort. This option removes the application footprint through re-platforming with little to no change, or refactoring to a modern language such as Java or C#. Your people can continue to work in the same way, but gain many of the benefits achieved by a Cloud infrastructure - such as containerisation and orchestration.  


This option requires a moderate level of effort, however you will see greater rewards. Cloud-Optimized removes the legacy application footprint, refactoring the code to allow for Cloud elasticity. It enables the start of the transition to microservices architecture and agile DevOps methods. There will be elastic architecture, the ability for self-service management, Cloud-Native databases, as well as increased accessibility - all of which are crucial for the changing ways of working.


A strategic journey that follows an incremental approach reaping the greatest rewards. This option fully maximizes the Cloud benefits, including a Cloud-Native landscape. This Cloud destination supports high performance and scalable workloads, which are designed to encourage a fast pace of change. A cultural shift is required to fully support the DevOps model. However, you will see improved operational support, faster fixes and increased agility, meaning more time to innovate rather than maintain and fix.

Before firmly deciding on which Cloud destination is right for you, it is important to start any application modernization journey with a comprehensive assessment, which includes your applications, operations and supporting infrastructure. The results of the assessment should look to confirm your Cloud journey and assist in defining the overall modernization approach. It is important to note that, depending on your long-term goals, the approach can often include a combination of disposition strategies to ensure the best results are achieved.

No matter which option you decide is best for you, it is important that you begin to think about how you can increase your IT agility. This will ensure you can react not only to the changing ways of working, but also to the changes in the market.

If you would like to find out more about how Advanced can help support your application modernization journey, please get in touch.

Blog Application Modernization OpenVMS IBM Mainframe
Tim Jones

Tim Jones


Managing Director - Application Modernization

Tim has a track record of success in mission-critical Application Modernization projects. He is renowned for helping organizations maximise their investment in critical legacy applications.

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