Keeping up with rapid-fire change requires agility—specifically, the ability to assemble and reassemble your services and APIs to meet shifting consumer expectations and demands.
Gartner defines this as a capability of “the composable enterprise”: an organization that is built, both in terms of technical architecture and business processes, from modular components that can be easily reassembled into new experiences and offerings. Composability gives enterprises agility and resilience: the ability to reinvent themselves at a moment’s notice and nimbly respond to a changing landscape of technology and consumer preferences. Lacking those capabilities can seriously hamstring an organization’s ability to adapt and survive.
Here’s an example:
As part of a comprehensive digital transformation, Banorte wanted to build new digital consumer experiences on top of important backend processes like account opening, investment activities, and consumer credit management. This required the bank to make their legacy applications available to the entire IT environment.
If Banorte had originally built everything in a DevOps manner (meaning, built as independent assets deployed into various systems), it would have been relatively quick and easy to integrate these systems. But like many companies, the bulk of Banorte’s technology assets were siloed applications running on a proprietary mainframe system. While mainframes are trusted workhorses that organizations of all types rely on for years, they’re also walled-off, monolithic systems. The legacy setup, combined with older coding languages like COBOL, made a DevOps approach prohibitively complicated and expensive for Banorte. Read more about Banorte in our case study.
(Since mainframe systems still hold 80 percent of the world’s business data, Banorte certainly wasn’t alone in their frustration.)
While mainframe systems are valued for their efficiency, reliability, and security, most companies need a dedicated team just to keep them running. It’s not surprising that plenty of companies made the decision to shift their systems away from mainframes. But in truth, the mainframe itself isn’t really the problem. The larger issue is that monolithic systems can’t easily be pulled apart and recomposed. While many companies start the process of migrating from the mainframe to a cloud-based microservices architecture, untethering all the elements is a time-consuming and expensive process
Some companies use an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to pull the data from their legacy systems. An ESB provides a set of rules and principles for integrating numerous applications together over a bus-like infrastructure. The problem with this approach is that the ESB creates another monolithic application, and doesn’t offer the agility needed to meet changing needs.
For most enterprises, the goal shouldn’t be to convert core applications – but rather to make them accessible to the entire digital architecture for deployment whenever and wherever they’re needed. For organizations using mainframes, reaching that goal doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch.
An agile, capable digital system needs access to all the mainframe’s data and logic to support the continuous composition of new offers and experiences. That’s what OpenLegacy provides. We automate the development of digital services to directly access the assets needed to create capabilities required today.
For Banorte, the results of embracing OpenLegacy’s approach were transformational: vast improvements in development time, a 70x improvement in performance, 200% to 300% increase productivity, and an enhanced ability to serve the coveted millennial customer segment with a new digital onboarding experience.
OpenLegacy services are flexible, and can be deployed as microservices, serverless functions, or as part of any API-building tool. Users can access the code and design in modern languages requiring no special expertise.
To learn more about why your company should be creating digital services from your existing core applications, and how it’s likely simpler (and faster) than you might think, download our complimentary eBook, Automate Digital Services Creation from Legacy Systems.