10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need IBM Application Modernization

by | Apr 13, 2022 | 5250, App Development, Application Modernization, aXes, ibm-i-modernization, low-code-platform, Visual LANSA | 0 comments


Time takes its toll on everything, and enterprise IT solutions are no exception. Take, for example, the original monolithic IBM i applications. Still used by thousands of organizations worldwide, IBM introduced and commonly implemented them back in the 1980s and 1990s. This means that many installations are now pushing 40 years old. At this point in their lives, many people seek life changes and new opportunities. This is also true for the evolution of business applications. 

No, we are not trying to say that legacy business apps can have a midlife crisis. Your IBM i green screens won’t leave you and move to another company with a newer platform and better integration. Your legacy applications, however, would benefit from IBM application modernization to continue supporting your business operations.

What are 10 business reasons to launch an IBM application modernization project ASAP?

When it comes to actual IBM application modernization, telling business leaders and IT decision-makers their IBM i apps are having midlife crisis probably isn’t a great idea. It is difficult to explain to a layman why they need to modernize legacy business applications as soon as possible. 

Here are 10 very specific points and arguments describing why it makes sense to modernize legacy IBM i business apps. They are all based on real business cases. 

Your apps run on unsupported or obsolete hardware

By design, outdated legacy applications operate on the hardware that was used back in the day. Enterprise hardware, however, has transformed since the 1980s. As a result, having old IBM i apps typically creates hardware-related problems. 

Your apps depend on discontinued and unsupported software solutions

Whether it’s the operating system or a supporting program, if your business app only works with discontinued software, then IBM application modernization is a must. 

Your apps are in a legacy programming language 

Having your application code written in a legacy programming language is a major business issue. IBM i applications use RPG, a notoriously complex and archaic legacy programming language. Worse, as a result of its age, a small number of programmers in a rapidly shrinking talent pool remember it. 

Your apps require difficult to hire personnel 

Trouble finding and hiring talent to maintain the application is another obvious sign that you need to modernize. It is extremely difficult to hire experienced and knowledgeable RPG programmers and IBM i experts today. For this reason alone, you should modernize your apps to support modern programming languages. 

Your apps make it difficult to comply with government regulations 

A few decades ago, at the dawn of the digital revolution, business rules and regulations were very different. Now, however, legacy apps frequently fail to comply with government requirements for enterprise IT systems and data security. 

Your Employees and customers have problems accessing the apps 

In the age of digital transformation, your apps need to be accessible from all major platforms, both desktop and mobile. Needless to say, that is not the case with original IBM i applications. They offer no support for modern web technologies in their default state. 

Your app doesn’t support new business models 

Having web-enabled business apps is absolutely necessary for most companies today. This is not just because they allow easy cross-platform access, but due to the increasing importance of online tools and business models. 

Your app has an archaic UI and provides poor UX 

Archaic user interface design is a good indicator that it’s time to modernize. You can easily identify an old IBM i app by its ancient UI and poor user experience.  IBM i app modernization will provide your staff and customers with a modern UI. 

Your app is increasingly difficult to maintain 

One common feature of outdated IBM i applications is that they become increasingly problematic to maintain every year. These difficulties result in growing maintenance costs, as well as more frequent errors. 

Your app can’t integrate with other tools and systems 

Finally, unmodernized monolithic IBM i apps are practically impossible to integrate with other enterprise solutions and systems. From a business perspective, the result is missed opportunities to benefit from the data exchange within your IT system. In addition, you can’t apply advanced data collection and analysis techniques to information you can’t share. 

How to fix your IBM i application modernization issues with one tool? 

Visual LANSA is a low-code, rapid application development platform for building enterprise-grade mobile, web, and desktop apps. The LANSA platform is a key component that powers successful IBM modernization projects for hundreds of organizations. Visual LANSA allows organizations of all sizes to use their existing development resources to build new apps and integrate them with other parts of their IT systems. 

Visual LANSA enables easy IBM app modernization by simplifying this process as much as possible and minimizing the need to have technical skills in order to complete an app development project.

The arsenal of LANSA development instruments and features includes several tools created exclusively for the IBM i platform. LANSA tools make the modernization of IBM i apps and related systems accessible to any business. 

LANSA’s exclusive free guide to IBM application modernization 

Modernization is an overwhelming process that can make or break a company. That’s why planning and strategizing for IBM i modernization is so important. We combined all the fundamental knowledge about enterprise app modernization in one whitepaper titled “Application Modernization For Dummies, LANSA Edition.” You can download it for free on this page

How to web-enable old IBM i apps in a few clicks?

One unique tool for IBM i users exclusively, is aXes, a tailor-made solution that automates the creation of web-enabled IBM i applications. Out of the box, it allows organizations to easily transform their existing IBM i 5250 apps into web pages, without changing source code. 

aXes includes an API that allows developers to create programs that automatically operate applications written with RPG or COBOL. Additionally, applications can use aXes to simulate the actions of a person entering data on screens in an IBM i application. This feature makes it possible to integrate existing 5250 apps with .NET, Java, and other platforms without changing their source code. aXes caters to a wide range of automation options with versions of the API for .NET for Windows, Java for IBM i and Windows, and RPG for IBM i.

Ready to launch your IBM i application modernization project? Get in touch with us to start utilizing Visual LANSA for the development and modernization of your business apps.

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