Many IT leaders have come to believe that newer always means better. But is replatforming/migration always the right strategy?

CIOs have witnessed technologies come and go. In many cases, they have been clear when a tech required an upgrade; in other cases, they have known that replacing a legacy system will fail to yield worthwhile gains. And still, making a decision on whether to upgrade or maintain the existing tech has been a difficult one.

Changing any system or solution in an IT organization or technology stack can be painstaking and riddled with risk. If tech is responsible for eliminating complexity and friction, it can also lead to creating the same if it is not adopted or strategized effectively.

With this backdrop, senior leadership team of BMC Software, and Indian software major Infosys came together on a platform to talk about “Conquering the Complexity: Towards a Frictionless Migration.”

Facilitated by DynamicCIO, this 2-hour long virtual meet-up was a perfect blend of thought leadership created by these two large IT companies.

Moderating and kickstarting the discussion, Rahul Neel Mani, Co-founder & Editor, DynamicCIO, underlined a few key points from a 2021 “IT Trends Study” from the Society for Information Management (SIM). The study from SIM revealed that replacing legacy applications was one of the top 10 largest IT investments for organizations in 2020, as it has been for each of the three previous years.

“It is important that CIOs determine the current status of their legacy systems and whether it is worth upgrading or maintaining them. In most cases, these systems do not produce optimum results and have come to end of life, either due to the vendors not investing in upgrades, or the technology itself has become obsolete,” Rahul said.

Rahul also cited the findings from the 2020 “Global Application Modernization Business Barometer” report that reflected the difficulties of replacing legacy tech, highlighting the fact that 74% of organizations that started a legacy system modernization project failed to complete it.

Speaking on this occasion Dr. Sameer Goel, Global Head of Mainframe Modernization Practice, Infosys shared some of the challenges faced by customers during migration that included disruption to everyday work can result in short-term losses in productivity as everyone adjusts.

“Enterprises often struggle to find new technology talent or upskill existing staff to manage the new technology and maximize its value. This is a task that can add unexpected costs, as well as delay the time it takes to realize the full return on the modernization investment,” said Dr. Sameer.

Austin Staats, Area VP of Global Sales, BMC in his session titled “Building a Sustainable Success Model in a Changing Landscape,” started by sharing how BMC has helped many businesses break Broadcom/CA’s hold on their business. He highlighted four key reasons viz. increase in costs, business disruptive contracts and lack of innovation that called for this move.

Austin shared that many customers incurred unsustainable year-on-year license renewal price increase in the range of an average 100-450 percent or more, based on customer feedback.

“No business should be at the mercy of a single vendor leveraging an “all or nothing” bundled contract approach. Customers have been shocked by the year-over-year pricing increase, and they have lost trust. BMC has helped several companies migrate away from Broadcom/CA, move forward again, and embrace breakthrough innovation that aligns with their budget. We are replacing Broadcom once every six days,” said Austin as he shared key programmatic steps on how enterprises can become Broadcom free through rationalization, standardization and transformation.

He also shared that BMC Software can map 75 percent of Broadcom products, and for the remaining they have partnerships in place with solution providers like IBM, Crowdstrike, MacKinney etc. that offer best-of-breed solutions to meet an organization’s needs and give them the freedom to choose which products and solutions can work best in their environment.

One question that cropped up during the session was around how BMC Software is aiding in the migration from mainframe to the cloud. Austin responded by sharing that Control-M in target state is a popular scheduler, and its AIOps suite of solutions TrueSight can be helpful in such migrations.

James Loftus, Director of International Service Delivery, BMC Mainframe Services shared his views on the topic of “Transformation Through Seamless Migrations.  He spoke around types of migration viz:

Install, customize and Go-Live: In this process the new product would be installed customized, training delivered, and the software removed when the team is comfortable with the new tools.
Install, customize, data migration, and Go-Live: Similar to the first scenario, however, here there may be some historical or configuration data that needs to be migrated.
Install, customize, data migration, run parallel and Go-Live: Here many key infrastructure products lie job scheduling, Tape Management, Automation and Storage Management are involved. The new solutions are installed alongside the current products, customized training delivered, data migrated and run in parallel for a certain period or alternatively production workload is moved across to the new solution on a piecemeal basis.
Install, customize, data migration, run parallel, IPL and Go-Live: In this process the old products cannot run alongside new solution. A new set of SYSRES volumes will need to be built and the old software removed. Then the new solution is installed and configured. The new SYSRES volumes need to be IPL’d into a test LPAR. To implement the new solution will require current LPAR(s) to be shut down and then the newly built SYSRESes will be IPL’d into those LPARS.

“The process that we follow and the tools that we have, are the key enablers of our success. In addition, our history in managing so many migrations with the experience of both product sets (BMC and Broadcom) has helped us to provide migrations for hundreds of customers,” said James.

BMC Mainframe Services (BMS) has performed over 300 different product migrations over the years.  James also shared a success story of an Irish financial services organization where BMC helped them replace ACF-2, Easytrieve, MICS and CA-1 over a 12-month period. In another example of a Media services company based out of the US and the UK, BMC helped replace CA-1, OPS/MVS and SMF utilities over an eight-month timeframe.

Infosys has been a strategic Global Outsourcers and System Integrator (GOSI) partner of BMC Software, and is also a part of BMC’s Readiness Program and gets beta access to new BMC products.

(Image Source: BMC Software – www.bmc.com)

By Ashwani Mishra

Ashwani Mishra is the Executive Editor at DynamicCIO.com and DynamicCISO.com. In his previous role he was the Editor at The Economic Times (ETCIO.com and ETCISO.in). He has around 17 years of experience in the IT Media space, and has also worked in senior editorial positions at The CTO Forum (now CIO & Leader), CXOtoday.com and UBM (Network Computing).

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