Mainframe Modernization Advisory

ITBI™ can support migration partially or fully away from Mainframe with insight into the performance and capacity impact.

The mainframe modernization service keeps the customer on track when offloading.

It helps monitor the capacity and performance baselines on both mainframe and the receiving distributed platform.

This service creates transparency of cost and performance impact when:

  • Offloading front end functionality to distributed platforms
  • Offloading one application at a time
  • Offloading major applications (or all) from the mainframe


Cost savings are an important driver behind mainframe modernization efforts. Mainframes are, or are at least perceived to be, expensive platforms.

Many modernization projects attempt to achieve cost savings by rehosting workload to other, less expensive platforms, or by rearchitecting the solution but leaving it on the mainframe in the hopes of decreasing costs. Unfortunately, many of these projects end up shooting in the dark. They lack transparency into which applications or components are the real cost drivers on the mainframe and end up spending a lot of eff ort moving or changing things that don’t end up saving them money. Or even worse, they experience the ‘offload boomerang’ where moving some components off the mainframe but leaving others in place actually results in increased costs or worse performance.

The objective of the Mainframe Modernization offering is to help customers understand the capacity, performance, and cost implications before, during and after a modernization project. This means creating transparency into the real cost drivers both in technical terms (jobs, transactions, packages, etc.) and in business terms (applications, organizations).

This insight provides a baseline from which to select the best candidates for modernization. It also provides a on ongoing validation that the expected capacity and performance improvements are being achieved.

The offering initially focuses on the mainframe capacity and performance side of the equation but can be extended to also analyze the server side (Windows, Linux, Cloud). This allows an ‘enterprise’ view of the situation, allowing the customer to understand the interrelationship between server and mainframe capacity and performance implications of the modernization effort.

What we will deliver

SMT Data carries out a series of workshops with representatives from the customer’s operations and development organizations. The workshops are based around the information available in the ITBI solution. The number of workshops will vary based on the size and complexity of the customers environment and the scope of the modernization project, but typically include:

  • A kick-off workshop to understand the customer’s objectives with the modernization project and to go through the technical reporting on capacity usage available in the ITBI solution. Mapping technical dimensions (e.g. transactions, job, packages, users, servers) to applications in order to understand and quantify the capacity usage in application and organizational terms is also agreed.
  • Based on the input from the kick-off workshop, SMT Data consultants implement the agreed mapping and create custom reports focusing on the customer’s specific modernization challenges. This will typically include identification of the important cost drivers, e.g. the applications contributing to the monthly peak utilization, to ensure focus on modernization efforts that will result in real cost savings.
  • At the next workshop, these new reports are reviewed. SMT Data assists the customer inestablishing a baseline from which to choose, monitor and validate various modernization options.
  • Additional meetings are held monthly or quarterly to follow up on the modernization effort. This allows for an ongoing validation that the modernization eff orts are achieving the expected cost savings and performance improvements.
  • A final workshop is held to review and quantify the actual mainframe capacity related savings achieved.

SMT’s consulting offering focuses on creating transparency and getting in control. SMT has partners who can also provide skilled consultants to help plan, design and carry out the modernization effort.


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Time frame

The time frame depends on the scope of the modernization project. The kickoff workshop, business mapping and baseline workshops are typically held during the fi rst month of the projects.

Customer requirements

This offering assumes that the customer has implemented ITBI and that the basic technical data required for Mainframe Modernization analysis is already in place. SMT Data’s consultants also require access to interview customer staff to both from Operations and Development to implement application mapping and develop custom reports

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