Don't jump into the cloud before exploring legacy integration

"There are many creative and innovative ways to bring crucial legacy systems such as mainframes into a modern digital transformed environment."

Johannesburg, 08 Apr 2021
Read time 4min 30sec

If you aim to include your legacy mainframe applications in your digital transformation project, don't just jump to the cloud. mWtech offers creative, unobtrusive and lasting integration solutions that will also expand your knowledge around cloud migrations.

Transformation time? Be alert! Many organisations make the mistake of leaping uncritically into a cloud-first world. There are so many ways digital transformation could go wrong. Cloud services and platforms are but a few options in the digital transformation toolbox. Your destination is a digital-first business that leverages technology to reach its goals. The cloud might be a part of that destination, but assuming this at face value leads to mistakes and costly reversals.

As a result, cloud repatriation is a growing trend as companies try to undo underperforming cloud migrations of workloads. In 2019, Garter estimated around 21% of workloads had been moved back from the cloud onto other systems. The growing popularity of hyper-converged systems reflects this reality: companies often fall back on these 'mini clouds' to regain control.

An alternative to cloud-first and hyper-convergence

Many companies want to access mainframe applications as if they were Web services. There are several ways to achieve this, such as invoking the mainframe application indirectly through the Web via Java or .NET. However it's done, the ultimate objective is to achieve the most rational and optimised integration of enterprise components.

Thus, the primary focus should remain on how integration will transform the business, then selecting the best paths to those outcomes. Every transformation strategist should ask: does the proposed platform fit their application landscape? Review this question from different angles before committing to the costly transformation process. Often, a big bang approach isn't necessary. There are many creative and innovative ways to bring crucial legacy systems such as mainframes into a modern digital transformed environment.

At mWtech, we specialise in discovering different integration options and providing the best solution. We will assess your environment to propose the most economical and efficient technical route. Try before you buy to see the big impact of small changes on your environment.

Leveraging the power of APIs

We make your code serve your business the way you expect. The mainframe functions are exposed and channelled to the end-user and customer via APIs and the enterprise service bus (ESB). This approach avoids connecting systems and components via specialised technical protocols that burden your architecture.

Cobol, Natural, C* or Java code form a legacy layer on top of storage to provide the building material for future APIs. Microservices architecture focuses on the legacy modules that the business requires immediately, exposing only demanded functionality and minimising development time and effort. Besides facilitating Web APIs, the legacy layers can interconnect to each other in a managed way via the ESB and messaging middleware. With this layer in place, integration components can run in Docker containers to rapidly build infrastructure on the cloud platforms.

The mWtech approach enables companies to run out-of-the-box integration solutions without the challenges of setting up complex environments. We can enhance our solution even further by using Kubernetes to implement turnkey load balancing and scalability. Armed with unlimited on-demand storage, elastic clustered databases and AI cloud solutions, this strategy adds value to cloud investments while avoiding the cost and skills demand of an on-premises hyper-converged environment.

Gain cloud knowledge you can use

Avoid making costly mistakes when integrating your new and legacy enterprise systems. mWtech will assess your environment to propose the most economical and efficient technical solution, and consider the cloud environment's benefits and pitfalls. Adopt the cloud with peace of mind that comes from experiencing the integration platforms in action instead of migrating blindly. Flaws and problems are addressed or mitigated during the proof of concept's dry run. This effort tests the cloud deployment methodology and best practices for the eventual migration. Even if you defer on a cloud migration, you will undoubtedly benefit from the knowledge and experience gained.

Consult us before making your integration and cloud investments. Cloud migration is a multistage process. Give yourself a chance to prepare for the challenges before it is too late, before needing costly repatriation and embarrassing retractions. A cloud migration roadmap design gives insight into your integration's current state and your choices to expose more APIs from your legacy environment.

It's worth repeating: digital migration can take many routes, and the effort of evaluating your options will not be lost. mWtech's approach improves understanding of your current environment and might even motivate a project or two before the migration begins. We demonstrate how the correct use of APIs can reach your digital transformation goals without creating unnecessary complexity or mistakes.

Contact mWtech today – learn how we can help you reduce the risk of digital transformation and know the best way to avoid costly reversals. As long as your business benefits, the cloud can wait.