Enhancing user engagement with IBM z series in the age of digital innovation

For businesses around the world at least 60 to 70% of business critical transactional data still resides on Mainframes and Midrange commonly known as legacy servers. When it comes to mainframes, licensing cost as well as user experience serve as the major hindrances to growth in the age of digital innovation. Since UX is the first touch point of an end user with an application this has proved to be the bane of legacy systems and hence businesses the world over the trying to find solutions to modernize the look and feel of these servers and enabling them with digital technologies. Let us have a look at some of the most common solutions to modernize UX of IBM z series applications along with reduction of licensing costs, in this age of digital innovation.

Listed below are some of the very common solutions provided by different vendors to modernize IBM z (Mainframes) applications to be used with web and mobiles along with ways to reduce licensing costs, the way to go in this age of digital innovation. Some of the notable vendors and their products.

It must be noted that IBM on its part has come up with a number of solutions which can be used to expose data trapped in IBM z series systems to the external world in enabling the data to be used to digital analytics purposes.

  • Keeping in mind the growing popularity of HADOOP as a framework for big data, IBM has introduced IBM’s version of HADOOP on Mainframes i.e. zDoop to support analytics on transactional data within Mainframes. (Refer link http://www-304.ibm.com/partnerworld/gsd/solutiondetails.do?solution=49589&expand=true)
    • IBM Mainframes and Spark – This year 2017, keeping in mind the growing popularity of Spark, IBM has started shipping Spark on Mainframes. This would mean that now analytics can be run on the transactional data itself rather than having to worry about moving the data to an off premise site to run data analytics.
  • IBM Bluemix: For on premise IBM z applications IBM Bluemix cloud provides the facility to connect the on premises apps with the cloud based IBM Bluemix solutions hosted off premise through RestFul API calls.(Refer link – https://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/solutions/hybrid-cloud/)
    • This way there is seamless integration between SOR (systems of record sensitive data residing on mainframes servers) and SOE (systems of engagement on cloud) to draw valuable business insights.
    • IBM Watson solutions with support for digital analytics, NLP etc. can then be built on top of the off premise part hosted on IBM Bluemix.
  • IBM Rational HATS in yet another solution that enables hosting of legacy applications to web/mobile without doing any changes to the underlying applications.

Please refer to the URL – https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSXKAY_9.5.0/com.ibm.hats.doc/gsintro.htm

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