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Updated by Charles Bystock on 07/26/2022

Mainframe Outsourcing Migration

Outsourcing mainframe technology has proven to be an effective way to reduce an organization’s costs, increase agility, and refocus core business, among other benefits. Once you choose to transition your mainframe from in-house to outsourced, the migration progress can be time-consuming and without the proper transition plan in place, delays can occur that can impede operations and leave IT leaders frustrated. To ensure a successful transition, here are 3 hurdles to avoid during the migration period:

  1. Staff

    Delays during the migration process can occur simply because an organization’s mainframe staff doesn’t have the time or resources to properly plan and execute a transition plan. Presently, a lot of technical staffers are carrying a workload that was once supported by a greater number of personnel. This leaves less time for them to put towards the migration process. In order to overcome this hurdle, use experienced and professional outsourcing vendors that understand the implementation hurdles. They can perform the majority of the work that goes into preparing and implementing the outsourcing agreement, leaving only a small portion of the work for current IT staff, such as defining workloads and testing systems. 
  2. Downtime

    A hurdle that many organizations face when migrating to an outsourced mainframe solution is increased risk of downtime. Businesses are more dependent upon continuous operation of their IT systems, and transitioning to an outsourced solution can sometimes cause disruptions. To avoid this, it’s pertinent to test and validate outsourced infrastructure and processes. Once you are confident in the new operations, you can then execute the transition. Companies also have the option of using high availability or mirroring strategies that support a seamless transfer or workload to the outsourcing vendor, and can be immediately reversed if any problem is detected.
  3. Knowledge Transfer

    Because the majority of companies use the mainframe to operate critical workloads, outsourcing these can cause delays since these application environments are usually complex and it will take time to properly transfer the necessary application knowledge to the outsourcing vendors. To overcome this obstacle, many outsourcing vendors are hiring current IT staff to continue operating your applications. This eliminates the delay in knowledge transfer, since your employees are already familiar with your business operations and applications.

Many companies are looking toward staying on their mainframe but outsourcing operations in order to fully take advantage of all that mainframe technology has to offer, while also reaping the benefits associated with outsourcing. IT executives become concerned with the hurdles that can be encountered during the migration process such as staff, downtime risks, and knowledge transfer, but there are ways to mitigate these risks and overcome any delays by working with the right outsourcing partner.