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Recently yet another large Integration vendor said digital transformations need to be hybrid due to a “common stumbling block – inflexible legacy systems.”

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Inflexible mainframes aren't the stumbling block for digital transformation

image Recently yet another large Integration vendor said digital transformations need to be hybrid due to a “common stumbling block – inflexible legacy systems.”

This premise is wrong. Legacy systems are fairly flexible. Developers can update them as needed. The lack of flexibility is with the integration middleware layers enterprises have layered on top of the mainframes.

These are also called ESB/SOA layers. The vendors use these layers for orchestration as well as integration. But these layers are tough to change and don’t help digital teams build domain specific services. Since everything in the system goes through the same queue, it can’t be used to determine domains.

The internal queues were designed for a time when networks were guaranteed to have connectivity so data needed to be queued in between. Those times are long gone. Queues still are useful to stream to many different endpoints but aren’t required internally. The problem is many of the companies blaming legacy systems are the same ones selling the ESBs. This is like the fox guarding the henhouse.

No matter what kind of integration an enterprise chooses, users can benefit from direct access between their digital services and core systems. This is why modern systems now incorporate service meshes and microservice-based systems. The microservices give direct access to the assets and the whole system collaborates to realize the necessary services allowing for flexibility.

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