SAG_Twitter_MEME_Speed_up_Digitalization_880x440_Apr18_draft1In my last post, I made the case that the fastest and most cost-effective path to digitalization is to leverage the valuable systems your business already has in place.It’s not only my opinion: My colleagues and I are seeing first-hand how leading businesses manage to avoid the costs and delays of a rip-and-replace approach, and instead power business innovation by bringing their legacy systems into the digital age.

It’s not only possible to give new life to legacy applications, it’s actually straightforward. With proven strategies, companies can bring their decades-old applications into the modern world of microservices and modular functions connected through APIs.

This approach answers three major business needs that are driving demand for digitalization:

  • First: Business demands faster innovation. Introducing devops to the mainframe is critical in this regard—and with NaturalONE you can develop your application in a state-of-the-art environment, integrate into your complete devops tool chain, and expose services for your business initiative by the click of a button - all while leveraging the existing valuable intellectual capital.
  • Second: Identifying the services that match a business need, quickly, is key. Application code analysis and discovery capabilities can identify the assets and objects that make up your core business processes and services, make them available as microservices through APIs, and give business low code tooling to create their own apps re-using the gems of business logic and data we have built over the decades. Any changes that business wants to make are based on their specific requirements. This enables business innovation without having to reinvent the valuable business logic and data built over decades.
  • Third: Business needs to reduce the unit cost of their applications. Reducing the spending on mainframes will enable you to spend less on “keeping the lights on” and free up resources for innovation. To reverse the trend of ever-growing unit costs, Adabas & Natural can run applications on any infrastructure, from zIIP-enabled mainframe to Linux to containerized environments – maintaining the same reliability and performance without added risk. Alternatively, you can also offload the mainframe using zIIP-enabled Adabas & Natural to dramatically reduce expenses.

Looking at these strategies, there are a few critical lessons about leveraging legacy applications in your digitalization efforts:

  • Don’t try to “eat the elephant” in one bite! In other words, focus on the services and data the business really needs to expose these one by one. Listen to your business and be pragmatic, rather than embarking on a long-term re-factoring exercise with an “ideal” in mind. This way, you can build momentum and add incremental capabilities as you go.
  • Introduce a philosophy and culture of devops and continuous modernization to legacy applications. This will mean a change in culture to coordinate across teams and verticals, but the benefit will be a boost in agility and responsiveness by leveraging legacy assets effectively. Or as Gartner says in a recent report: “Establish a continuous modernization culture combined with product and platform teams to align backlog and cadence across teams.”
  • Create an agile, digital architecture around your Adabas & Natural application. By implementing microservices and APIs, you can build on all the strengths of your legacy systems, leading to faster innovation at lower cost.

At Software AG, we have walked countless customers through this process. It’s time to re-think what digitalization means in the context of your valuable legacy applications. I encourage you to think about how you can build on the value of your legacy systems while building digital capabilities for business innovation. Learn more at!

After you take a look at Software AG’s success stories, get in touch to see how your business can leverage this proven approach. Say yes to faster innovation that builds on the strengths of the systems you’ve already built!

We are pleased to offer you complimentary research from Gartner, “Use Continuous Modernization to Build Digital Platforms From Legacy Applications,” to help you with your journey to digital business transformation.

Download Gartner Report

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