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Partnering for Complex Transformation 

To maintain agility in your business, it’s crucial to transition your key applications and data to modern systems. At LzLabs GmbH, our customers value our phased modernisation approach, reducing risk effectively. Thilo Rockmann, CEO. 

(The original German article was published in October 2023 in CIO Magazin’s CIO Jahrbuch 2024.)

Adapting to evolving business conditions is challenging. “Continual reinvention is essential to avoid stagnation, which equates to regression,” advises Thilo Rockmann, CEO of LzLabs, the legacy transformation experts. LzLabs’ software facilitates the migration of applications and data from mainframes to current systems. Such intricate transformations often necessitate external expertise. The market offers an array of solutions, each claiming unique problem-solving abilities. However, the focus should be on comprehensive experience in transformation projects and integrating these experts with your organisation. 

A 2021 LzLabs survey revealed that 96% of companies rely heavily on mainframes, underscoring the complexity of modernisation. Meanwhile, 92% planned to transfer their mainframe applications and data to open systems. Past projects, varying in simplicity, have seen mixed results, often delayed due to incremental complexities over the years. Overcoming these requires a strategic approach. 

Equal Partnership 

When selecting modernisation software, consider the potential relationship with a vendor. An effective partnership is crucial for internal transformation. “Choose a partner that complements your size, avoiding overpowering entities,” suggests Rockmann. He highlights the presence of smaller yet capable transformation partners, particularly in Europe. Cultural alignment is as important as expertise. 

Critical Success Factors: Knowledge and Communication 

Evaluate the expertise level of potential partners and your team’s ability to collaborate with them for a successful transformation. Combining internal and external knowledge is key, according to Rockmann. Clear communication of the project’s rationale to all stakeholders is essential. “Merging old and new perspectives is crucial, with significant internal involvement and support imperative for success,” he asserts.  

No Universal Solution 

LzLabs recognises that no single solution fits all legacy modernisation needs. Customised approaches, considering each customer’s unique requirements, are vital. Legacy applications and data hold value; thus, only necessary changes should be made, ideally in a gradual, incremental manner. Modernisation should ideally progress on one or a few platforms to realise ongoing ROI. While mainframes are reliable, they might not be the innovation drivers for many companies. LzLabs assists in determining which applications to keep on mainframes and which to migrate based on business needs. 

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