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IBM i Modernization

IBM i modernization refers to the process of updating and upgrading the IBM i platform, previously known as AS/400 or System i, to meet current and future business requirements. This transformation doesn’t just involve technology, but the skills, methods, and processes used to manage applications on the platform.

Historically, IBM i has been known for its reliability and robustness. Businesses that have invested in this platform have relied on its capabilities for decades. However, as technology has evolved, there’s been a growing demand to keep pace with contemporary business needs and expectations. 

This is where IBM application modernization comes into play. When modernized, legacy applications become more agile and efficient. In the context of IBM i specifically, it means ensuring that the applications running on this platform can integrate smoothly with other contemporary technologies and offer a modern user experience.

So what is application modernization, exactly? Modernization is really about reinventing how businesses operate and deliver value. It ensures that applications, the lifeblood of any business, are primed to support dynamic needs. Application modernization offers greater agility, scalability, and resilience, and prepares companies for the future. 

Infrastructure and technology within IBM play a vital role in facilitating this exciting evolution. By understanding the infrastructure modernization meaning, organizations can be better positioned to compete in the modern business environment. They can demonstrate to stakeholders that they are committed to providing the latest services and technologies.  

But modernizing requires a structured approach—businesses shouldn’t jump straight in without a solid roadmap. Crafting an infrastructure modernization strategy is essential to achieving desired outcomes. A well-defined strategy sets a clear vision for how an organization’s existing infrastructure should be transformed.

The best strategies are usually built upon proven frameworks. An infrastructure modernization strategy framework basically outlines the blueprint for the modernization process. It starts with an assessment phase, where the existing infrastructure is analyzed in detail. 

Post analysis, a design phase takes over, where a future-state design of the infrastructure is crafted, keeping in mind the organization’s objectives. Implementation follows, where the modernization efforts are put into action, and finally, the operations phase ensures that the modernized infrastructure runs smoothly.

Application modernization benefits are extensive. First and foremost, modernized applications can significantly improve operational efficiency. They’re more agile, meaning that they enable businesses to respond quickly to market changes. With better integration capabilities, these applications can communicate seamlessly with other systems, allowing for a unified view of data and better decision-making. 

On a more strategic level, application modernization paves the way for greater innovation, opening avenues for businesses to explore new models, services, or products. Skytap is a cloud-infrastructure-as-a-service purpose-built to run IBM i workloads in the cloud. In other words, it makes it possible to cloud-power your IBM i workloads. Whether they’re looking to migrate legacy applications to the cloud, take advantage of AI, or anything in between, Skytap offers a gateway to the cloud for these business-critical applications. 

Application Modernization Tools

Application modernization challenges can be daunting for many businesses, especially when transitioning from legacy systems to newer, more agile platforms. These challenges include but are not limited to understanding legacy code, ensuring that the modernized application still meets the business’s requirements, and dealing with potential downtime or disruptions during the modernization process. 

To tackle these issues, companies rely on advanced solutions. The best application modernization tools come in a variety of forms and feature a wide range of functionalities. These tools can assist organizations in analyzing their current application landscape and executing their modernization projects.

Viewing examples and case studies is a great way to learn more about the tools available on the market today and how they’re helping businesses adapt to the cloud environment. One notable application modernization example is the migration of legacy applications to cloud platforms. 

An application modernization example that has gained traction in recent years is the migration of legacy applications to cloud platforms. One application modernization example in cloud computing might involve re-hosting a legacy application in the cloud, or even rebuilding it using cloud-native technologies. Alternatively, companies can leverage an IaaS such as Skytap to “lift and shift” IBM i workloads to Azure without the cost or risk associated with re-writing or re-factoring applications. This allows enterprises to modernize at their own pace while ensuring stability of existing applications.

When businesses think of cloud modernization strategy, Microsoft’s Azure often comes to mind. App modernization on Azure offers a suite of tools and services specifically designed to aid businesses in their application modernization endeavors. Azure’s application modernization tools are designed to ease the transition from legacy systems to the cloud. When looking for the best tool for your organization, consider your specific needs and what exactly you hope to achieve with your modernization process.

Modernization Tools

IBM i is one of the most robust and reliable systems available today. The IBM i platform is known for its integrated operating environment and integrated database, which powers many enterprise-level applications. 

IBM i application modernization can be done in several ways. The goal is to ensure that the modernized application is capable of withstanding modern challenges and is easier to maintain and update. This allows for a more seamless experience all around. 

One of the areas that businesses focus most heavily on is IBM i database modernization. While the IBM platform’s integrated database is extremely powerful on its own, it often fails to meet the needs of users with diverse suites of tools and platforms. Modernizing this database allows users to integrate with other platforms. 

Whether you’re looking to modernize your database or modernize business operations as a whole, it’s important to outline an IBM i roadmap ahead of time. Your roadmap should highlight the steps, milestones, and objectives involved in the process. These roadmaps help keep businesses aligned with their ultimate goals—it keeps them focused on the bigger picture. And be sure to factor the cloud into your IBM i modernization plan as migrating these workloads to the cloud can avoid costly hardware refreshes. 

It’s worth noting that several IBM i versions have been released over the years, each bringing enhancements and new features. These versions differ in terms of programming languages used, system capabilities, and integration possibilities. As such, the version in use can sometimes determine the approach and tools required for modernization.

For those who have been in the IT sector for a while, IBM i may be better recognized under its older name, IBM i series as400. The AS/400 was known for its efficiency, and many of the applications developed on it still run critical business processes today. These applications can sometimes become challenging to maintain and update, however, necessitating legacy application migration.

IBM i Modernization with Skytap

Modernizing IBM i workloads and applications can be a complex process, but with the right tools and expertise, businesses can successfully optimize their IT infrastructures to remain efficient and competitive even as technology rapidly advances. Learn more about Skytap on Azure for running your IBM i workloads in the cloud without rewriting or refactoring.

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