IBM helps enterprises move mainframe apps to the cloud

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Many large enterprises have legacy systems running on IBM Z-series mainframe platforms. In order to help digital transformation efforts and modernize apps across hybrid environments, Big Blue is announcing a series of new capabilities.

Plans include delivering IBM Z as-a-service on IBM Cloud for development and test, as well as introducing additional tools for developing hybrid applications.

According to a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study into application modernization on mainframes, 71 percent of respondents say mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy. Four out of five respondents say their organizations need to rapidly transform to keep up with competition, which includes modernizing mainframe-based applications and adopting a more open approach.

"Today's IBM is focused on helping our clients across every industry apply hybrid cloud and AI to transform the way their businesses work. IBM recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to modernization," says Tarun Chopra, vice president of IBM Z Hybrid Cloud. "By leveraging both IBM Z and IBM Cloud, clients can benefit from a hybrid cloud approach that allows them to capitalize on the innovations, technical advancements, security, resiliency of each platform. With hybrid cloud, you keep your workloads where they need to be -- in the cloud, on premises, and at the edge -- to help reduce risk and improve time to market."

IBM plans to deliver IBM Wazi as-a-Service (Wazi aaS), bringing z/OS capabilities to IBM Cloud for the first time. This is launched today as a closed experimental environment with general availability expected in the second half of this year.

This is designed to help developers increase speed and agility with on-demand access to z/OS for development and test -- setting up z/OS test environments becomes possible in minutes rather than days. It will also help accelerate DevOps practices with predictable and flexible consumption-based pricing and cut the need for specialized skills with a consistent cloud-native development experience.

Also announced today is the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, expected to be generally available on March 15. This will jump start or accelerate application modernization and take a standardized approach to IT automation across a variety of common use cases. Features include secure API creation and integration, open tools and rapid application analysis, and standardized automation with access to open source environments such as Kubernetes.

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