COBOL Migration

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It's time to retire COBOL

Most every corporation is on a path to move their data centers to the cloud, starting with their simplest and least critical apps and working their way up. However it is the most mission-critical apps at the center of most corporations that will be the most challenging but also the most rewarding to move to the cloud. It’s estimated, for example, over 40% of big bank systems in the USA run COBOL, containing over 200 billion lines of code and processing over 80 percent of transactions*.

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The time has finally come when CIOs must come to grips with this problem and put a mainframe/COBOL retirement plan into action.

  1. Engineers with mainframe skills rapidly retiring; younger employees not interested
  2. Customer and employee experience with things like batch cycle downtime, antiquated processes, etc. are becoming unacceptable
  3. Traditional competitors will be making the move and improving their future outlook
  4. and new cloud-native start-ups will be a growing threat

Considering all your options, Platform Modernization is the best strategy. Wrap the logic in microservices and externalize the data, allowing you to “strangle” the functionality over time. By wrapping COBOL logical services and externalizing data access, you provide immediate benefits to everyone else in the company because the mainframe is no longer a direct dependency so other projects can move faster. Wrapping is the only way you can surgically begin moving the functionality, service-by-service, to cloud-native options. You can consider each process independently, decide which need extensive, moderate, or little redesign, and which priority order to tackle them in. Over time, those millions of lines of COBOL and the huge volume of data locked within will decline to nothing.

At Next Pathway we have practices and acceleration tools to help with modernization. We would love to talk to you about our experience and best practices.

* Reuters