Enterprises seeking to modernize their legacy mainframe applications often cite the key reason as not being able to evolve quickly enough to support the changing needs of the business. This is also a driving force behind the increasing trend toward moving these legacy applications onto other platforms, either by attempting to rewrite or re-platform them.
If this was a simple process however, the transition would have happened years ago. So, why is it so difficult to modernize mainframe applications? It is surely not the programming language. COBOL and other traditional languages are simply programming languages. They may not be considered “cool,” but neither are many of the other scripting or development languages, or configuration syntax programmers deal with day in and day out.
So, what actually makes legacy application modernization challenging? After countless conversations with several outsourcers, system integrators and mainframe customers, four major issues came up time and time again.