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.

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"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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