Article

Pursuing Application Modernization to Maximize IBM i

IBM i
Posted:
August 16, 2016

IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, due to powerful new technologies such as virtualization and the cloud. In the midst of ongoing innovation and constantly emerging technologies, IBM continues to be recognized as a stalwart in IT solutions. Even though IBM i has proven its worth for more than 30 years now, there are still numerous ways to maximize its use. Application modernization is one initiative worth pursuing to gain the most value from the operating system. In particular, IBM itself has noted that application modernization can serve as a way to revitalize operations and deliver new value while also realizing greater return on investment.

IBM stressed that having inflexible, old, or poorly integrated systems really can negatively affect a company’s ability to quickly deliver services to customers and innovate. Because modern application users have higher expectations when it comes to ease of use, all organizations need to consider improving applications to make them more user-friendly, efficient, and flexible. TechTarget provided an excellent definition of application modernization, explaining that it encompasses the refactoring of legacy software programming to align it with modern business needs:

Traditional methods for modernizing applications include rewriting existing application code written in COBOL to a more modern, web-friendly programming language or placing a web interface in front of an outdated application to salvage parts of the application that might still have value.

The Value of Application Modernization

In a recent ITJungle article, contributor Dan Burger explored the topic of planning for IBM i modernization, arguing that while application modernization is not new, stagnation and trepidation with such initiatives have kept many companies from making significant progress on this front. Application modernization seems to be picking up steam, although many IBM i shops need to boost their efforts in this regard. In order to get the ball rolling in this arena, it’s important for executives to fully understand what application modernization entails. To this end, executives need to define a solid business case for modernization and map out a detailed direction. Factors that should be considered include business communications and the multiple platforms and environments being used. Burger explained that methodologies used for application modernization will vary from company to company depending on the unique IT environment established.

As TechTarget contributor Joe Pluta explained, with IBM i, application modernization can be easier, as the interface is one of the most efficient around. Furthermore, there is no reason for companies to avoid modernization, since it enables organizations to gain more from one of its greatest assets: its software programming staff.

 

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With many options available, you can start small and build as you have time, taking advantage of exciting, new, and diverse technologies and opportunities without having to start over. Watch this recording with IBM's IBM i Product Offering Manager, Alison Butterill, to get a start on satisfying CEOs and those end users with high expectations.