Application Modernization

A Multi-faceted Approach to Meet New Challenges

Modernization problems for applications running on IBM midrange and mainframe environments usually cannot be resolved with a single approach. Though many companies may have close to 40 years of managing custom developed applications, updating them for technology shifts and changing business demands, there has never been a silver bullet solution built to renew legacy assets. Unfortunately for most companies, vendors are often quick to position a single approach to a problem. The reality is that some applications may be ready for replacement by packaged business applications or re-writes in more modern languages. Others may be stabilized in RPG, COBOL and 2E and still considered strategic but require web and mobile extensions.

Modernization Challenges for IBM Environments


There is now substantial pressure to resolve future application architectures to better position companies for growth. CM First has been a leader in helping companies develop, deploy and manage applications for IBM midrange and mainframe environments since the company’s inception. CM First believes in devising appropriate modernization strategies that fit a company’s unique circumstances, rather than forcing a single approach based on what’s available in a vendor toolbox.


The Language of ‘Legacy’


IT organizations face ongoing pressures to improve customer service, increase profits and provide more timely access to information. A key strategy to meet   these demands is delivering continued use and value from existing legacy applications.  A legacy application may be defined as any production–enabled software application, regardless of the platform it runs on, language it is written in, or length of time it has been in production. Legacy applications contain the business rules and data that make up the intellectual property required to run the business. Legacy Modernization is about application use and re-use, building on the strengths of the past and combining them with the opportunities that present and future technologies offer. Legacy modernization is the conversion of aging applications to more modern architectures.


Business Drivers


There are several drivers that compel an organization to explore application modernization strategies.


  • Limitation of Current Technology to Deliver New Functionality to the Business
  • Application Integration Requirements
  • Platform Migrations
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Cost Reductions
  • Reduce Complexity
  • Decrease Time to Market
  • Skills Shortage and Related Risks
  • Eliminate Vendor Lock-in and Related Risks
  • Technology Changes 


5 Steps to Tackling Modernization Projects


Our approach is to start with the company’s goals, analyze the applications in place today, and propose the right mix of techniques – from service, web and mobile enablement of stabilized custom built applications, to code migration, re-hosting or outright replacement.


Step 1 – Portfolio Assessment
Step 2 – Understand Business and Technical Drivers
Step 3 – Evaluate Approaches
Step 4 – Execute Strategy
Step 5 – Implement Supportive Technologies That Assist Future Growth


Most companies realize that they must continually modernize their core business applications to remain competitive. Whether that means leveraging web and mobile technologies, implementing a more flexible application infrastructure, or simply better integrating their systems, organizations need to review their application portfolio and assess new technology opportunities. CM First offers platform independent, SOA-based modernization approach that enables businesses to integrate and extend their legacy mid-range and mainframe applications in a productive and future-proof way. We can help drastically reduce the time and effort necessary to recover the business value that is buried in legacy applications.

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