Combine re-hosting, re-platforming, and re-factoring all in one go!

April 20, 2021

How to solve governmental legacy challenges effectively, without having to choose

It is clear that 30-plus-year-old applications are posing significant cost, maintenance, and modernization challenges. Antiquated technologies and specialized skills make these systems expensive, inflexible, and difficult to integrate. The pandemic has exposed and, in many cases, aggravated an already challenging situation.

The modernization solutions are not always clear and often force institutions to choose between:

Moving the applications as-is to a cheaper platform, known as re-hosting or re-platforming. This approach will drive cost down significantly, as it changes the underlying hardware from mainframe lock-in based to standardized, commoditized x86 based hardware. The downside is that it only fixes the hardware (cost) problem, and it does not solve the specialized skills issue as the applications are still based on COBOL and other legacy technologies (like CICS, IMS, JCL, and so on). In fact, the problem may get worse as the new environment is just as much a lock-in as the mainframe was with no simple way out: it requires a significant reengineering effort to move away from this mainframe-like emulation.

Or

Transforming the applications to new technologies, or re-factoring. This approach ensures that there is no more dependency on any mainframe artifact and gets your organization into a completely modernized environment with no lock-ins. The downside here is that there are many changes to deal with:  not only does the underlying infrastructure change, but now all development and maintenance staff needs to shift simultaneously.  Switching from a mainframe development and operations paradigm (usually waterfall and 3/4GL based) to object orientation based on Agile and DevOps principles often accompany x86 based development. This situation is no simple task with typical skills transitioning challenges.

The pandemic has made this decision worse by putting extra cost and time pressure on many organizations: revenue/income has gone down, where cost has gone up. Examples are government benefits where the demand on legacy systems has gone up significantly, requiring expensive upgrades, where income (e.g., taxes) has stayed the same or even gone down. Insurance companies face similar issues. A Cloud model is clearly the ideal solution but requires investments in time and money, both of which are increasingly scarce.

What to do/choose?
In summary, institutions may want to start with re-hosting but also re-factoring without big incremental work. At the same time, they need to find a way to start without big up-front investments that aggravate an already challenging budget situation.

What if you could:
– combine re-hosting/re-platforming and re-factoring all in one approach?
– flexibly decide what pieces to keep in COBOL (because transitioning developers from COBOL
to Java is not the first priority) and, at the same time, move applications straight to Java or C#?
– flexibly decide between on-premises and Cloud at the click of a button?

Sounds impossible, having it all in one go?

Not anymore, as this is exactly the technology that Asysco has built over the last 15 years: combine re-platforming, re-hosting, and re-factoring in one, unified solution with complete control over what gets deployed where: from on-premises to Cloud. Keep programming in COBOL or move to Java/C#, without limitations. This gives complete flexibility over your institution’s roadmap while providing programmers the flexibility to transition their skills when that makes sense.

But how to start, given all these time and funding constraints? From experience, there are a couple of approaches Asysco has designed to get started effectively:

  • Perform a legacy quick scan to find workloads that lend themselves for a quick transition into a Cloud-centric infrastructure. The quick scan Asysco developed, helps identify these workloads and build a business case for the migration. It does not take much time and is a quick exercise to do.
  • For larger workloads, use the combined re-host/re-platform/re-factor strategy as a basis for future-proofing legacy applications. Our Site Survey assessment provides a comprehensive roadmap in a matter of a couple of weeks with a fixed price, fixed date commitment.
  • Finance the entire engagement: Asysco has developed a multi-year financing solution that spreads out most of the project cost to a time where both the benefits and the cost savings of the migration are realized, whether engaging on a 3-year or a 5-year plan.

Contact us for more information about our all-in-one-go approach.