Flexible, agile, and secure: modernizing applications with IBM Z

By | 2 minute read | August 16, 2021

Priorities have changed over the last two years for IT executives. From business as usual to a rapid shift toward digital transformation, the impact of the pandemic cannot be overstated. With this shift to digital in mind, the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) surveyed 200 IT executives and discussed changing marketplaces and the role of IT in transformation in “Application Modernization on the Mainframe.”

Much of this change is attributed to the rise of cloud-based applications. But where does this leave mission-critical mainframe applications? A knee-jerk reaction may be to say the only way forward is to rearchitect IT environments exclusively on the cloud. However, 71 percent of IT executives surveyed say that mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy. These workloads power essential business processes; with 93 percent of companies using the mainframe for financial management and 73 percent for customer transaction systems.

Digital transformation will require workloads to run where they make the most sense, necessitating a hybrid cloud approach. In three years, close to 70 percent of leading organizations expect their operations will include unique configurations of data and computing environments, including on-premise data center, mainframe, private cloud, public cloud, and edge computing1.

By embracing a hybrid cloud approach, IT leaders benefit from the stability and security of the mainframe and extract maximum value from cloud investments. To ensure that applications are connected across platforms, it’s important to modernize mainframe applications. Modernizing mission-critical mainframe applications can help transform development culture, enabling adoption of DevOps and other agile practices that promote flexibility and innovation.

Enterprises in the financial services industry, like BNP Paribas, are re-thinking the way that they approach product development by modernizing their mainframe development environment. BNP Paribas deployed an integrated development environment backed by open-source tools. Driving both cost savings and quality development, the modern environment enables more efficient development and testing, which also helps attract new developers. It boosts developer engagement and code quality by offering greater autonomy and tool standardization.

BNP Paribas is just one of many enterprises taking advantage of modern mainframe tools and technology that deliver lower total cost of ownership and increased agility. The IBM Z ecosystem offers innovative solutions that drive enterprise transformation across the globe. The release of IBM z/OS V2.5, the next generation operating system on IBM Z, introduces high performance AI capabilities and new capabilities that support rapid product development on the platform.

Recognizing the need for continual innovation, 86 percent of IT executives say that their organizations need to accelerate digital transformation to stay ahead of changing customer expectations. By modernizing mainframe applications and integrating them with new applications in a hybrid cloud environment, enterprises can develop or maintain a competitive advantage and avoid costly re-architecture plans.

The first step of any modernization journey is to build an iterative plan. To learn more about application modernization on IBM Z, click here

>> To read the full IBV study, click here.

[1] IBM Institute for Business Value Smarter Supply Chain Study, 2020.