Digital transformation is a process by which enterprises bring in technologies across their businesses to stimulate fundamental changes. At present, AS400 modernization is one of the most significant activities under the digital transformation umbrella.
Legacy systems like IBM AS400 are outdated technologies, which are no longer supported by the IBM community. Though these systems may still be operational, they are highly incompatible with modern technologies and system versions. AS400 systems remain challenging for businesses to patch, maintain, or integrate with other systems. In the digital era, organizations that work with AS400 systems may not effectively adapt to SaaS environments and end up with higher operational costs. This is where AS400 Cloud modernization comes in!
What is an AS400 System?
AS400 is an integrated system built & launched by the IBM community in 1988. This system is intended for organizations to host business-critical web & mobile applications. It consists of an exclusive hardware system known as AS/400 and Operating System known as OS/400. In addition, AS400 systems offer database and other core functions for enterprises. RPG (Report Program Generator) is the language traditionally used for programming AS400 systems. Though, it is an integrated system, implementing and running AS400 systems offer several challenges, because:
- AS400 is incredibly expensive. The hardware to operate AS400 costs considerably greater than the other platforms
- AS400 systems are highly incompatible. Hence, apps hosted on this platform remain non-integrative
- RPG experts for maintaining AS400 systems are rarely available in the market. Besides, hiring RPG experts is highly expensive for organizations when compared to employing other programming language experts
- Since the IBM community stopped releasing version upgrades, business-critical apps can become easily vulnerable to security attacks
Is AS400 Modernization An Effective Strategy?
As said before, AS400 systems have been around for a long time. Still, AS400 systems have been the backbone for hosting many enterprise apps that connects all operations, from customer management and sales to finance and inventory. By using AS400 systems, organizations can’t experience the essential flexibility and agility to meet crucial business requirements and attain growth opportunities. Due to its non-integrative nature, enabling AS400 integrations is a challenging task for businesses. Besides, working with three decades-old AS400 systems could be an obstacle to business transformation.
Whereas, by adopting AS400 Cloud modernization, organizations can transfer their enterprise apps and workloads from AS400 systems to a Cloud ecosystem. This way organizations can update their app’s features, architecture, or infrastructure and ensure cost-effectiveness in the longer term. With Cloud modernization, organizations can ultimately lessen dependency on complex hardware or data centers, enable integrations and overcome expensive maintenance.
Advantages of AS400 Cloud Modernization
- Reduce Operational Costs
IBM AS400 systems incur high implementation and upfront costs for enterprises, not to mention ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs over the years. Similarly, misalignment between AS400 systems can slow down the application’s processing speed and impact performance even further. With AS400 Cloud modernization, organizations can substantially reduce upfront expenses. Instead, businesses pay a monthly subscription to acquire the services they require from the Cloud platform and benefit from instinctive updates to the latest version. When enterprise apps are delivered through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, organizations can automate several back-end processes, including the transference of app data among systems like sales and finance, or between procurement and supply chain management.
- Enable Integrations
With AS400 Cloud modernization, enterprises can overcome IBM system integration challenges. By using native library connectors in Cloud platforms, organizations can enable multiple integrations with their enterprise apps and build fully-functional workflows that run at a greater speed. Hence, organizations can promote the digital workplace ecosystem. With such an ecosystem, enterprises can seamlessly fulfill present and future objectives and attain a competitive edge.
- Improve Data Visibility
Being the backbone of enterprise apps, AS400 systems store and manage information from a number of crucial processes, such as supply chains, accounting, human resources, warehouses, and more. Ultimately, this results in data silos and prevents valuable insights and data from being discovered. Accordingly, businesses can’t gain a much deeper understanding of their end-users, fail to personalize the customer experience, and meet needs.
By modernizing AS400 systems using Cloud, enterprises can consolidate all of their app data in a single location. This allows experts to make insight-driven decisions based on a more comprehensive view of their processes and performance. Cloud platforms like AWS and Azure efficiently eliminate security hacks and protect application data consistently. With greater control and visibility offered by Cloud platforms, businesses can rapidly apply and modify their app security policies as per the latest standards.
- Better Uptime
Generally, organizations that host enterprise apps on AS400 legacy systems have to purchase & install additional hardware for completing enhancements and upgrades. Whereas, transferring enterprise apps from AS400 to Cloud helps organizations alleviate the TCO, making it less affordable for managing data and ensuring greater uptime of apps. Cloud-based AS400 modernization ensures better business continuity and eliminates overprovisioning of hardware.
Organizations must implement enterprise application upgrades quickly and include new features to tackle business challenges. AS400 Cloud modernization strategy helps enterprises improve their enterprise app’s scalability and performance while eliminating complex equipment setup and costs. With this approach, enterprises can also have the ability to advance with modern principles, and standards and effectually reduce external threats.