Because mainframes have been around for more than 50 years and the concept of rehosting (especially in the cloud) is much newer, there is resistance to it. Misinformation, misconceptions, fears, and myths about rehosting are all around us. This blog lists the top 6 and debunks each one. Take a look.
This is a common claim. Yet, research on the topic invariably reveals that most “failed” projects were caused by something other than rehosting—such as complete application rewrites. In reality, rehosting is more likely to succeed than fail, and it is also relatively low-risk compared to rewriting or doing nothing. Companies in all industries have successfully rehosted their mainframes. They now have a fast, flexible foundation that enables them to respond quickly to changing markets and disruption. Also, they can more easily modernize their legacy software because of the open operating systems with multiple database and utility options.
Dig deeper into stories about difficult and lengthy rehosting initiatives, and you’ll soon discover that they happened years ago. Not only that, but the problems were caused by starting an initiative without a fully-baked plan or a full inventory of mainframe applications. Modern rehosting includes an in-depth assessment of the applications that need to move before the project gets underway and a continuous review that monitors progress. This prevents the surprises that can add time to or complicate a rehosting initiative. As a result, it can take as little as 9 months instead of 3-5 years, which is how long it can take to rewrite applications. For example, Samsung Insurance’s rehosting project (7500 MIPS) took less than 12 months.
A few years ago, a hotel reservation company paid $160,000 more than planned on rehosting. This story has become the poster child for “it’s way more expensive than you think” rehosting naysayers. But the companies’ problems were caused by a rehosting vendor with no previous experience. If you select someone with experience and a rock-solid rehosting solution that monitors progress, this horror story will not be yours.
You’ll also hear that you’ll need to hire more resources, but this is because people confuse rehosting and rewriting applications as we mentioned in myth 1. Rewriting applications requires a significant amount of programming resources and can incur high upfront labor costs. With rehosting, existing skilled mainframe resources and those of open systems and modern technology teams are all you need.
The truth is, by not rehosting, companies are sentenced to expensive mainframe maintenance and updates, often millions of dollars each year. By choosing the right rehosting vendor, you avoid years of capital outlay on a patched, fixed, and aging mainframe.
You might have heard that rehosting does not save money or have an appreciable ROI. The hotel reservation company is used as “proof” of this myth because its costs rose from $1.30 to $1.65 per reservation. But there are many more companies who are realizing major savings. GE Capital’s costs of running its portfolio management system fell by 66% after rehosting. Samsung Life Insurance reduced costs by $30 million in four years, and Kela, a European government agency, estimates a reduction from €8 million a year today to €2 million when rehosting is complete. The difference? They chose a modern vendor with proven experience.
You might fear rehosting will result in incomplete applications and slow performance. But when you look at it logically, it’ll hit you. A decades-old mainframe that’s been patched, fixed, and updated in increments will itself be prone to poor quality of service and performance. By contrast, rehosting can increase application uptime and reliability. There are no changes to the underlying business logic or user interfaces of your applications. You get a secure, high-performance, and flexible environment that dynamically scales based on business demand. For example, Samsung Insurance reports their online response time improved by an average of one second, and application error rates dropped dramatically.
You might be hearing this in your own company. Your managers and executives might argue that your mainframe is still handling a substantial amount of transactions without major incident, and so you should keep things the way they are. What they are not facing is the fact that, as we mentioned earlier, your company is possibly spending millions of dollars to maintain what is becoming more of a liability each year. This ties up capital that could be used for innovation and differentiation while your competitors take advantage of new technology. Rehosting offers a fast, flexible foundation for quickly responding to market change and future integration requirements.
The facts prove that rehosting your mainframe is fast and almost free of risk—and you can preserve its legacy without running up costs. Your mainframe applications move unchanged to a modern open environment that enables you to take advantage of modern technology, thereby adding value and reducing costs over the long term.
For more details on mainframe rehosting, check out our guide, 5 Reasons to Rehost Your Mainframe.
Dan Penney is head of Business Development at TmaxSoft and has spent over 7 years selling software and SaaS. Dan joined TmaxSoft in 2015 from Fleetmatics where he was a senior-level Sales Development Representative. Dan has a bachelor of science in Renewable Energy Technologies from the Illinois State University.