The Cloud is Coming For Your Datacenter Mainframe in Financial Services

When it comes to the enterprise datacenter, the public and hybrid cloud have been in the spotlight lately. This is especially true in financial services, where a large percentage of computing resources are domiciled in corporate datacenters. While the long-term economic argument for cloud adoption has been known for some time, formidable barriers have stood in the way of making that vision a reality.

The Cloud is Coming For Your Datacenter Mainframe in Financial Services

In many ways, the possibility of saving has been hindered by the reality of upfront costs and business risk (an “either/or” mindset) and an inability to easily migrate apps and processes from on-premise to the cloud. However, that equation has changed, and a recent white paper and webinar from Maven Wave highlight how the corporate datacenter is no longer a match for the public and hybrid cloud.

Future Success with the Cloud

Within the white paper, David Nicholson, Strategic Cloud Development at Maven Wave, points out that business leaders don’t start with the premise that “we need to be on the cloud.” They begin with a list of business opportunities and challenges they need to address. 

Businesses need to lower risks, decrease cost, address complexities, and achieve greater flexibility to respond to challenges and drive innovation. Clients are looking for solutions that answer these nagging questions, and that conversation doesn’t begin with the technology that solves their problem. That said, while the conversation doesn’t start with the cloud, that’s where the answers are usually found.

As incumbent companies face the reality that they must compete with well-funded, innovative start-ups, it helps that options exist to help tackle transformation opportunities that center on cloud adoption and an exit from the datacenter. In fact, a strategic plan often has significant technical and financial help from outside firms that can address challenges and opportunities comprehensively.

Presently, major cloud hyperscalers such as Google Cloud are offering incentives to help ease the shift from on-premises datacenters to the cloud. At the same time, Maven Wave has decades of experience managing complex computing environments. This experience is critical in being able to optimize the transition from old to new.

When it comes to computing resources, the formula for success has changed. The saying used to be “no one gets fired for buying IBM,” but that’s no longer true. The future is clearly in the cloud, and Maven Wave is helping companies to make that shift.

Mainframe Transition in Action

The mainframe may seem like an uninspiring place to begin a transformation story, but this long-time workhorse is still deeply embedded in the enterprise: A recent study reported 72% of all customer facing applications touching mainframe at some point. In financial services, the numbers are even higher, with 88% of the top 50 banks and 80% of the top ten insurance companies in the U.S. dependent on mainframe operations. However, the mainframe is a vestige of the past that is antithetical to a modern enterprise. In a presentation at the Google Cloud Financial Services Summit, Maven Wave’s Andrew Dunmore and Adam Erdesky described the shortcomings of mainframe, important technical opportunities for modernizing platforms, and engagement models to facilitate transformation.

There are many shortcomings of mainframes. In short, their disparate architectures are not amenable to modern microservice requirements, and they are inflexible for adapting business processes. They also rely on skills and talent that are no longer readily available, but are slow and cumbersome when it comes to adding new features and capabilities.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of flexibility in cloud migration, particularly within technical solutions made available in the past couple of years. It is possible to craft an intermediate mode of operation (IMO) that provides the flexibility to build solutions that deliver sufficient results for resources expended. Choices range from “mainframe to the edge” solutions that are 2–3 milliseconds from hyperscaler availability zones to “cloud to mainframe” alternatives that offer the quickest uptake for the lowest cost and disruption.

The Cloud Rises Above the Mainframe and Datacenter

Some areas seem to be naturally resistant to change, and this is particularly true when it comes to datacenter mainframes. They are so deeply ingrained in critical operations and seemingly so impervious to modernization that they have wound up being virtually untouched by the shift to modern technology architectures — until now. Advancements in development practices as well as tools and software to bridge the old mainframe world to the new opportunities that are available with the public cloud have dramatically shifted the narrative. Now, the cloud is coming for your mainframes.

With a dedicated financial services practice and 11 Google Cloud Partner Specializations including Cloud Migration, Security, and Infrastructure, Maven Wave can provide your organization with expert guidance on how to get out of the datacenter or mainframe and into the cloud. Contact us to get started.

Ready to learn more? Watch the 16-minute video on mainframe migration from the Google Financial Services Summit video and download the “Guide to Datacenter Transformation” white paper.

August 16th, 2021

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