Application Modernization: Destination Success
June 3, 2013 Dan Burger
Any organization that has been around long enough to grow into a business has investments in equipment that can be described by the word legacy. The question that many struggle to answer is how to take what you have and turn it into what you need. In the IBM i community, we hear the term modernization being used a lot, particularly when it comes to applications. Old applications rarely are as efficient as new ones. They can be difficult to use and limited in what they can do.
If you’ve heard or read comments by IBM i chief architect Steve Will, you know he is a vocal proponent of application modernization. He’s talked with IT Jungle on several occasions since the beginning of the year, and modernization is always part of the conversation. He’s not shy about it. That’s a good thing. There needs to be more people focusing on application modernization, explaining it in terms of business value.
The IBM i chief architect should be outspoken on this topic. As Will is apt to do, he’ll be happy to talk about it whenever the opportunity presents itself. June 13 another opportunity presents itself. This time it’s a webinar and application modernization is the focus. It’s also vendor sponsored. A third-party vendor, an IBM i ISV by the name of looksoftware. You’ve probably heard of them.
Will is the lead speaker during this one-hour online presentation. He’s very good at explaining the business value of IBM i, which, in turn, helps IT people explain it to those who just don’t get it. He supports what he says with customer references, independent studies, explanations of the underlying architecture, and connecting technology with business value.
There’s business value in legacy investments, but just like rust never sleeps, a competitive business never sleeps and technology that benefits business never sleeps.
What it takes to complete successful modernization projects is the point of the looksoftware portion of this webinar. And that point will be illustrated by an overview of real-world examples featuring looksoftware customers. Business drivers such as productivity gains and sales increases will be used to demonstrate the value of modernization projects.
Each of the highlighted projects begins with IBM i development environments that were strictly green-screen oriented. The conversation will cover modernization topics such as mobile development, Web services, creating useful graphical user interfaces, and capabilities that exist with software as a service.
To a large degree, these projects were accomplished with few changes to the original RPG code, which contrasts with the misconception by many folks who assume modernization must involve major redevelop efforts. It goes beyond screen scraping or Web facing–what some call the lipstick on a pig effect. The examples will demonstrate how to create an interface that’s easier to navigate, but they will also show desktop integrations that automate Excel spreadsheets and Word documents as well as taking online reservation transactions with credit card processing and tying that into the IBM i.
The explanations of the design and scope of the projects will be presented by looksoftware application modernization experts who were directly involved, namely Trevor Perry and Nick Hampson. Their emphasis will be on keeping things simple, getting projects accomplished in weeks rather than months, and the reuse of existing code bases and hardware.
This webinar is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on Monday, June 13. It requires pre-registration. You’ll find additional details here.