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Avoiding the "Big Bang!" 3 Reasons to Avoid a Complete IBM i Migration

Posted by Tim Losee on Aug 15, 2017 2:51:34 PM

Businesses on the IBM i have long been searching for the best way to bring their legacy applications into the modern age. Many take on very high-risk and high-cost system rewrites, or even attempt to migrate off the IBM i all together, otherwise known as "The Big Bang" scenario. Unfortunately, these projects often fail and cost millions of dollars and waste years of development efforts. Here are 3 of the main reasons you will want to avoid this "Big Bang" scenario:

The Cost: Should I Stay or Go?

The cost of migration can be astronomical (and we will go into more detail about that later), but the cost of keeping your legacy code can be a huge cost factor for a business as well. Your legacy code can create:

  • Higher staffing costs for specialized talent.
  • Higher maintenance costs for supported outdated hardware.
  • High maintenance fees for legacy vendors.
  • Higher costs to add features or updates.
  • Longer project cycles due to poor architecture.
  • Delays in responding to market changes.

These costs alone could drive a business to want to do a full migration, but the costs of the migration itself can be daunting too. Time is money, and a full migration off the IBM i can take years. Costing your company a lot of money in staffing alone. Besides the cost of staffing, new hardware/software can eat into a migration budget quickly and even after millions spent on migration and years of development, nearly 70% of all migration efforts fail. 

The cost for a more agile modernization effort is far less on the other hand. Taking your existing RPG legacy code and using the power of Node.js to help modernize your user interface is the most cost effective way to transform your code to an easy to understand and easy to display platform. Profound.js is the leader in cutting-edge solutions to take your IBM i development to the future using Node.js. 

Disrupting Your Business Can Hurt!

One of the first questions that gets asked, "Can this migration even be done without disrupting our business?" Most full migrations have a level of disruption to them, it is not a straightforward process that comes with an step-by-step instruction manual. Each company's code and data is completely different and you never know what issues will come with migrating your information. You may also have to change applications with a full migration. Not all applications work on all platforms, so you may have to switch applications that help your business run, which can also disrupt your business. 

Re-writing custom RPG using Java, PHP, or .Net is a time consuming and inaccurate process that requires intimate understanding of the original code. Even when you know the code well, you can still have periods of time that require down time for your platform. Along with the inaccurate process, migrating thousands of customizations that make up your customized RPG apps can be very difficult or even impossible. 

Another disruption can come from your work force. So many of these migrations take years to accomplish that when programmers and developers are ready to retire, your migration efforts may still be in process. This can cause huge set backs because bringing in new employees who may not know RPG would require a lot of work and catching up to finish your migration project.  Most new developers aren't learning RPG or only know a little bit about it, putting them behind the eight ball during your migration. 

There is an Easier Way!

Agile Modernization is a much easier way to modernize your IBM i system instead of migrating off it completely. What is Agile Modernization? Agile Modernization is a process that keeps your existing RPG code and using Node.js allows you to modernize your user interface. You can modernize legacy RPG applications and green screens vastly faster because you aren't changing the code, just modernizing it. 

With Profound.js you can convert RPG apps to Node.js as needed without losing compatibility as well as integrate with previously incompatible systems like Java, .NET, and PHP. Profound.js also allows you to take full advantage of the Open-source Ecosystem by allowing your platform to use open-source programs like Watson, the Cloud, and Internet of Things. Finally, You can use the visual designer tool to create rich user interfaces and mobile devices that can carry your code where ever you go.

Profound Logic has seen the power and capability of Node.js for a while and through our new product Profound.js we have made your modernization efforts even easier! Using Node.js we make modernization easy and cost effective. The Agile Modernization of your UI can be done without spending years of development time or millions of development dollars. 

Our second annual Profound Logic User Seminar (PLUS) is coming up! Register today to reserve your spot for this three day seminar that includes: hands on workshops, key Profound Logic speakers, and both Basic and Advanced learning sessions. The Seminar takes place November 15th-17th. Register Today!


Topics: RPG Development, Application modernization, IBM i applications, Node.js, Profound.js, IBM i, RPG, AS400 modernization, IBM i Modernization, Agile modernization, green screen modernization, 5250

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