Give traditional systems new life in the cloud

Migrate entire IBM Power estates, including applications, data, and networking configurations to the cloud without rewriting or refactoring using Skytap on Azure.

Cloud Powered Digital Transformation for Retailers

In today’s ever-evolving business climate, accelerating cloud adoption is at the forefront for decision makers, no matter the role, including business unit leaders and those involved with IT strategies. And yet for the retail industry, the cloud transformation imperative has been further accelerated by a disrupted global supply chain, the increased challenge of retaining employees and loyal customers, keeping up with ever-changing customer expectations, and maintaining a digital edge.

Retail organizations thrive on new advances and innovations to improve operational efficiency, remain competitive, and deliver positive experiences for learners. These growth engines culminate with the people in an organization and their internal tools, data, and processes. At the core of organizational connective tissue is customized and mission-critical applications powered by IBM Power Systems, the institution’s heartbeat for all lines of administration. 

Retail organizations often rely on mid-range servers like the IBM i (formerly AS/400) series and AIX, which have a well-deserved reputation for delivering both high performance and excellent reliability. Many have built highly customized operation-critical applications on these platforms. In fact, the most recent edition of an annual survey from Help Systems found that 67% of organizations rely on home-grown applications on their IBM i servers. 

Yet even amid a widespread trend of organizations shifting to a cloud-first strategy, many retail organizations have yet to migrate operation-critical IBM i applications to the cloud, fearing the potential disruption to the organization and the cost of refactoring or rearchitecting these applications to be cloud native. As a result, these legacy applications are often viewed as “cloud stubborn.” However, in order to enjoy all the benefits that the cloud can offer, the challenge facing many retail organizations is how to transition investments in IBM Power-based workloads to the cloud without costly or lengthy refactoring efforts.

Skytap on Azure helps technical and administrative leaders do just that with a solution to quickly bring IBM Power and x86 workloads to the cloud. It’s a fast and flexible alternative, aligning to digital transformation and cloud adoption initiatives, enabling administrative operations to experience new growth while eliminating the need for infrastructure procurement and data center management. 

The cloud imperative for retail organizations

As the retail industry continues to evolve, flexibility is a driving force for technology stack decisions and the implementation and pivoting of operational strategies based on market changes. With Skytap on Azure, your organization’s leaders and technology users alike can be assured of flexibility and continue to realize your investments in IBM Power-based applications with the ability to run traditional IBM Power, IBM i (AS/400), AIX, or x86 workloads natively in Azure without costly and timely refactoring, replatforming or rearchitecting. Your organization can quickly, and with minimal effort, realize the benefits of a cloud transformation for mission-critical applications with Skytap on Azure.

Moving traditional on-premises workloads to the cloud can involve complexity and risk. With Skytap on Azure, the migration efforts are simplified, saving valuable time and staff resources: there’s no need to refactor or re-architect existing workloads and applications. Complete environments, including virtual machines (VMs)/logical partitions (LPARs), network configurations, and, most importantly, business applications, can transition in as fast as an hour, depending on the workload size. This transformation is achieved securely with ExpressRoute connectivity, the conduit from an organization’s on-premises networks to Azure cloud infrastructure

Looking at organizational finances, a cloud transformation can offer a reduction in CAPEX hardware expenses and support contracts to keep existing on-premises infrastructure moving forward with technology advances. Skytap on Azure runs within an Azure region, deployed within a low latency-defined perimeter, and connected through a dedicated regional low-latency network with hardware provisioned to Skytap’s specifications, including IBM Power 9 hardware, offering best-in-class performance. 

How to make a fast and low risk transition to cloud technologies

Institutional operations rely on continual uptime and flexibility to grow and adapt to the way people work and access the data they need to be successful. Transitioning an IBM Power platform from on-premises to the cloud, retail organizations are equipped to innovate at the pace needed. With 99.95% availability SLA, you can have confidence that workloads and applications will be up and running. And with Azure’s backup and disaster recovery capabilities, mission-critical applications quickly adapt to a service disruption.

Suppose your organization requires a new environment for testing or a training department. Skytap on Azure cloud connectivity allows you to accelerate provisioning times and increase infrastructure utilization by managing templates of complete application environments. This streamlined approach enables IT teams to configure a Skytap environment on Azure, with the options to self-service and get up and running faster. Because Skytap on Azure is consumption-based, institutions pay only for the compute and storage they use.

digital transformation for retailers

A move to Azure is just the start of your cloud journey

With Skytap on Azure, retail organizations can tap into the power of Azure native services to expand the value of existing applications. Migrating IBM Power platforms to Azure opens a new world of growth opportunities—microservices, analytical services, robust automation, and more. Application users and the teams responsible for building and maintaining those applications can make high-impact modifications with advanced analytics and machine learning services. Teams can embrace modern and agile application development methods throughout the entire development lifecycle. Retail organizations will even be able to establish automated continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to deliver new features faster. 

One of the biggest impacts of this can be seen in how Skytap on Azure can support your institution’s data modernization strategy. Today, as much as 80% of an institution’s data resides in legacy systems. When you migrate your on-premises IBM Power workloads to Skytap on Azure, you de-silo this data. Then, you can connect your data to Azure native analytics services to support advanced data analytics, data visualization and reporting, AI and machine learning and more.

Run IBM in the cloud with Skytap on Azure

The recipe for a cloud transformation initiative is a mixture of institutional readiness and the right technology, along with an experienced and trusted partner. Skytap on Azure checks the boxes both for technology requirements and deep experience with the IBM Power platform, with a broad range of deployments supporting migration of thousands of LPARs to the cloud. 

As the only service provider on Azure with support for AIX, IBM i, Linux on Power, and x86s VMs, digital transformation for retailers retail organizations is possible with Skytap. 

Skytap on Azure for Production Workloads: Run production AIX, IBM i (AS/400), Linux and Windows with 99.95% availability and secure connectivity to on-premise apps. 

Skytap on Azure for Disaster Recovery: Run cold, warm or hot disaster recovery environments to ensure business continuity.

Get your retail organization started on Skytap today

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