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ISG to Release Study on Providers of Mainframe Transformation and Modernization Services

Upcoming ISG Provider Lens report also will examine providers of Mainframe-as-a-Service and Storage-as-a-Service

Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, has launched a research study examining service providers that support the modernization, transformation and use of mainframe computers in enterprise settings.

The study results will be published in a comprehensive ISG Provider Lens report, called Mainframe Services & Solutions, scheduled to be released in April. The report will cover vendors that offer mainframe transformation and application modernization services as well as mainframe-as-a-service and storage-as-a-service offerings.

Enterprise buyers will be able to use information from the report to evaluate their current vendor relationships, potential new engagements and available offerings, while ISG advisors use the information to recommend providers to the firm’s buy-side clients.

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The new report will examine a range of services offered in the mainframe space, to meet the needs of many large businesses and research organizations that require massive processing capacity, said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research.

“To comply with digital transformation business requirements, clients can modernize their mainframe applications and introduce Agile methods as well as automate continuous integration tools,” he said. “Two alternatives exist in the market: modernization, which updates legacy code, and transformation, which converts legacy code into modern languages to run on modern platforms, including private and public clouds.”

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ISG has distributed surveys to more than 60 mainframe service providers. Working in collaboration with ISG’s global advisors, the research team will produce six quadrants representing the services and products the typical enterprise client is buying in the mainframe space, based on ISG’s experience working with its clients. The six quadrants that will be covered are:

  • Mainframe Modernization Services, covering providers offering legacy application modernization, introducing code repositories such as GitHub, DevOps integration and testing automation, including security testing. Modernization keeps the original programing language, such as Cobol, adding architecture optimization and documentation to enable agility. After the modernization is completed, clients can embrace Agile methodologies in the development and maintenance of applications running on mainframe systems.
  • Mainframe Transformation Services, assessing application development and maintenance service providers that have evolved their application modernization methodologies to assess and rewrite legacy programming language applications written with Cobol, RPG, Fortran, PL/1, Natural, and others, that typically run on mainframes. Typical target programming languages may include Java, .Net, C# and others, enabling the same logic and business rules to run on any platform, including the public cloud.
  • Mainframe-as-a-Service, examining infrastructure service providers that offer shared IBM Z mainframes under a pay-per-use contract model. Services include facilities, hardware, connectivity, mainframe network management, licensing, operating system and sub-systems, tools, and all maintenance services required to keep mainframe workloads running according to the expected performance.
  • Mainframe Operations, assessing traditional outsourcing providers that offer mainframe services. Typical participants employ experienced practitioners to cover legacy mainframe technologies as well most recent mainframe releases. Mainframe operation service providers offer skilled teams to keep clients’ mainframe running. Services can be delivered in any hosting facility.
  • Storage-as-a-Service, covering vendors of storage solutions with the commercial option of pay per use. These vendors enable clients to free their capital invested in storage systems and adopt new storage appliances or cloud-hosted storage options, or both. Vendors promise significant cost savings to clients that modernize their storage methods, with tools that dynamically move data to the most appropriate storage device and location.
  • Mainframe Modernization Software, enabling legacy application code assessments and code conversion. Mainframe modernization software includes reverse engineering, business logic mapping, business rules extraction, code review and inspection, documentation, emulators, frameworks and application development tools that can accelerate code and application modernization.

The report will cover the global mainframe market and also examine products and services available in the U.S. ISG analysts Pedro L. Bicudo Maschio and Srinivasan P.N. will serve as authors of the report.

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