mainframe to a cloud

Cloud: too tempting for financial services to pass on?

Few industries are as data-rich as the financial services sector. As businesses and societies move increasingly faster toward distributed and cloud computing, a key question for financial services companies emerge: How willing (and ready) are they to shift their mainframe applications to cloud platforms to modernize them? Should they do it?

In LzLabs’ Mainframe Modernization Survey (November 2021), 100% of decision-makers from the financial services companies who took the survey said mainframe applications are at least “important” to their organization. At the same time, IT survey respondents said that they believed the cloud was the ideal future for their IT estate.

It can be inferred from the survey results that the financial services sector relies on the stability and security of mainframe technology. But it is also clear that financial services companies are keen to embracing a more agile development environment for their business-critical applications and thus see the cloud as a pillar of the solution.

Agility, flexibility and interoperability

Whilst 55% of financial services organizations have started reducing their dependency on the mainframe, 77% of financial services companies surveyed consider the cloud as a target environment for mainframe applications. There are three factors driving this latter trend.

First. The business arms of banks and financial services organizations are demanding greater agility and quicker reaction to changing circumstances. Daily or hourly turnarounds have become the norm. Market disruptors that meet customer demand for instant banking services and seamless attention are leveraging agile, cloud-based platforms to take customers away from institutions that are more established but not as nimble as cloud-savvy players are.

Second. Financial services organizations are becoming increasingly aware that although their core mainframe applications are business-critical, the platform on which they currently reside might not be the most flexible environment to enable fast development, testing, and deployment of end-user applications.

Third. Financial services organizations are being lured by the benefits the cloud provides in terms of data optimization, scalability, and reduced time-to-market, amongst others. Maintaining and developing applications in a cloud environment is becoming too tempting, not lastly because of improved interoperability between platforms. 

Cloud migration with minimum risk

Due to the highly sensitive nature of their operations, financial services companies with a cloud strategy are particularly keen on finding a solution that ensures minimum risk when migrating mainframe applications to the cloud. These organisations also need a solution that enables them to quickly scale horizontally based upon workload requirements.

LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe® (SDM) provides organizations with a unique approach that allows incremental migration. SDM® is a software platform which enables legacy applications to run in current computing environments, such as cloud, without the need to rewrite and/or recompile those applications.

SDM® provides interoperability between applications migrated to the cloud and any applications that remain, either temporarily or indefinitely, on the mainframe. Decision-makers can cherry-pick which applications to move and when—which means they can keep business-critical applications running while bringing them into a cloud environment. This incremental method means that organizations can make smart decisions on what to move to ensure a smooth, safe transition.

And because SDM® provides a familiar environment for mainframe experts, there is no knowledge and skills gap. SDM is a solution that works for everyone, allowing seasoned developers to smoothly transfer their knowledge to new talents that come with different language and application expertise. Bottom line: applications run in a modern environment and legacy expertise is preserved.

A pillar of the solution

The financial services sector is showing signs of readiness to embark on application modernization projects. Adding a cloud strategy doesn’t necessarily mean adding a layer of complexity—rather, it represents a pillar of a solution that gives financial services organizations a more agile development environment for their business-critical applications.

With its unique features, SDM® not only minimizes migration risk but also enables companies to energize their corporate data strategy to fulfil their cloud strategy, ensure interoperability between environments and unlock the value of their applications’ business logic.

Get in touch with us to see how LzLabs you can help your application modernization and cloud strategies work together.