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Common Issues IT Technicians Face When Migrating Computer Mainframes

A row of servers with some programming codes on them.

There comes a time when businesses have to face the finite lifecycles of their current mission-critical applications. When this time comes, business personnel will find it obligatory to upgrade or replace their existing hardware/software by migrating its key functionalities to a new computing platform. Without a doubt, migrating mainframes can be overwhelming if you don’t familiarize yourself with the challenges that potentially lie ahead. We discuss some of the most common issues professionals and businesses face when conducting software migration projects. 

First and Foremost, Transferring and Migrating Data 

One major issue that commonly arises when migrating mainframes is the need to migrate data as well. If your current system has been in heavy use for years on end, the chances are that it has accumulated large quantities of data in the form of files, records, and other pieces. When migrating from mainframes, it is important to think about how this data will be migrated to a new system with no faults or roadblocks that could impede the process. If you do plan to create a method of transferring data for a successful migration, it could be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What predominant formats are the files?
  • What is the size of the data and how are they categorized?
  • Which data needs to be migrated and which can be left out?

Planning ahead for data migration can make the process much easier and smooth regarding when it comes to operating your business. 

The Costly Aftermath of Integrating Your Systems 

Oftentimes, business personnel misperceive the final execution of integrated systems to be the biggest challenge in migration, but that’s not necessarily the case. If migration doesn’t go as planned, integration can be as costly as developing the new system. System integration involves all the tasks that must be completed before the new mainframe replaces your existing software. This extends to migrating the data, teaching your business team how to maneuver the new system, establishing tech support, and deactivating the new system. All of these tasks are not only time-consuming but they can also place a dent in your finances if you’re not meticulous the first time around.

Learning the Languages and Processing Engines  

With a new computing platform often comes a new coding language to learn. This can be labor-intensive and require expertise that the IT team who assist may not have or be able to spare. This can summon the following application complexities. 

  • A lack of detailed knowledge and understanding of the application’s code, how it works, and its purpose. 
  • If your mainframe applications share a parent data store, your new system may require an entirely new application code to ensure that your mainframe database and new platform databases operate in sync. 

Overall, these complexities can impede performance time, and cost investments without utilizing the proper expertise and IT advising when it comes to familiarizing yourself with a new coding language. 

Increased Risk of Internal Migration Failures 

The process of migrating applications from a legacy mainframe carries a number of risks that must be properly handled in order to gain the best out of your new system. IT technicians and businesses usually come into contact with the following:

  • Unauthorized cutover and testing phase challenges that require additional mainframe migration. 
  • Poor project planning and lack of clear tools and equipment for the potential migration to new phases of the application. 
  • Draining the knowledge of the mainframe, and not being able to spare the modification history. 

Mainframe specialists can help with the development of an application-specific migration plan and uncover certain needs in order to attain successful migration of mainframe applications. 

Maintaining Business Production with Down Systems

Lastly and most importantly, one of the most common issues that businesses have to come into contact with is being able to sustain their daily operations without being reliant on their computer mainframe systems. There is plenty that could go wrong during the migration of mainframes; as such, IT technicians have to take their time and work diligently to ensure proper execution of an application. It could be helpful and effective to deploy a new mainframe when it will be less disruptive for your business and customers. If there isn’t an optimal time during the day, it is important that you strategize accordingly while your new system is being migrated. 

Choose The Professionals at Marble Computer For Successful Mainframe Execution  

At Marble Computer, we are comprised of experienced professionals who are knowledgeable in migrating your current systems to new and updated mainframes.  Our Control/DCD software can be of extreme value when migrating applications to new computing platforms. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist throughout the process of migration.