Mainframe Modernization Under the MGT Act

Mainframe Modernization Under the MGT Act

The mainframe is integral to the progress of government IT because it increasingly supports front-end technologies that citizens use to access services. However, its mission-critical programs must be made more agile as workloads increase. The authorization of funding under the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act provides a mainframe modernization opportunity for federal agencies to solve this issue. They have two options.

Option One: Spend several years and millions of taxpayer dollars rewriting applications.
Pressure to move to the cloud makes rewriting applications an attractive mainframe modernization strategy—but it’s risky. Most migration projects fail, go over budget or result in unchanged or worsened application performance.

Option Two: Invest in Agile/DevOps to enable on-platform modernization and cross-platform integrations.
With option two, you invest in what’s proven to work—you keep mission-critical applications and data on the mainframe and adopt modern culture, processes and tools to introduce agility, broader security and ease-of-use, making it simple to work with the cloud and other applications under a Two-platform IT approach.

This enables you to leverage 1) mainframe computers for mission-critical assets and 2) XaaS resources from cloud providers for commodity services, thereby eliminating the need for expensive, complex, on-premise x86 commodity server infrastructure.

DevOps: The Path to True Mainframe Modernization

For true mainframe modernization, agencies must break down silos between development and operations while implementing DevOps, a framework of best practices that allow teams to collaborate across functions and platforms to deliver services to citizens with greater speed, agility and quality. At Compuware, we believe you can do this with a flexible 10-step plan.

Faster, more collaborative development requires mainframe tools that provide automation, visibility and integrations throughout a cross-platform DevOps toolchain. In this way, the mainframe becomes just another platform in your enterprise, on par with systems like the cloud, enabling programmers with any level of experience to work with ease on applications that span platforms.

Pervasive Cybersecurity for DevSecOps

Advancing security throughout IT modernization is central to the MGT Act, and it, along with DevOps, should be an essential element of the business case you present to your agency CIO and the Technology Modernization Board when seeking authorization for modernization funds.

Fortunately, security is already a continuously evolving strength of the mainframe, differentiating it from more penetrable IT systems. But while mainframe hardware is virtually impenetrable, insider threats pose a real danger to all systems and their applications and data.

Modern mainframe cybersecurity tools and their cross-platform DevOps integrations make it easier for organizations to detect and thwart the nefarious activities of hackers looking to hijack sensitive citizen data. What’s more, other mainframe DevOps tools unrelated to cybersecurity are increasingly being designed and built with security in mind to support a true cross-platform DevSecOps environment.

For more information, contact Claire Bailey, Compuware Director, Federal, State and Local Solutions at claire.bailey@compuware.com.