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Modernizing Mainframe Applications to Accelerate Digital Transformation in Banking

Over the last year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced financial institutions of all sizes across the globe to alter how their businesses, employees and customers interact daily. From engaging customers remotely to enabling employees to work from home en masse and without much warning, financial institutions were prompted to innovate in order to support urgent customer care inquiries in a stressful, unchartered environment.

 

Although most banks have come out of this initial state of emergency response, many must contend with an urgent reality: that the need to accelerate their digital transformation efforts is no longer part of a long-term strategy – it is a matter of business survival.

 

However, despite this urgent reality, banks must balance risk and reward by pushing forward with a lower-risk modernization strategy. Progressive modernization is the optimal strategy for banks to modernize their technology assets with offerings that inject agility into their existing technology.

 

Modernizing the Mainframe: The optimal path forward

According to a recent survey of 200 IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), 4 of 5 executives say their organizations need to rapidly transform to keep up with competition. This same survey found that:

 

  • 82% of executives agree their business case supports mainframe-based applications
  • 74% of executives say mainframe-based applications are central to their technology strategy
  • 71% of executives believe mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy

The importance of the mainframe, quite frankly, comes as no surprise.

Mainframes have been fundamental in supporting mission-critical workloads for over six decades. They are secure, reliable, and powerful. So much so that, currently, 45 out of the top 50 banks run on mainframes, with mainframes handling almost 70% of the world’s production IT workloads.

Forward-thinking bank IT leaders understand that marrying underlying mainframe technology with cloud-based applications is the quickest and most efficient path to modernization.

 

According to IBM’s 2021 Application Modernization on the Mainframe report, executives in the IBV survey confirmed that “modernizing mainframe-based applications – and connecting them with new applications through a hybrid cloud environment – is crucial to keep pace with ever-changing business needs.”

In this model, banks can modernize their technology assets by injecting agility into their existing technology investments.  Zafin’s platform is a great example of modern software aligned with IBM’s Application Modernization on the Mainframe focus.   can re-orient their business strategies to support the integration of a multitude of technologies like Kafka, restful APIs or file connectivity; and in doing so, they can free up core systems and applications, which benefit from the reliability of the mainframe, to focus on the work they must do while capitalizing on the speed and agility offered by cloud-native applications.

So, how can bank executives and leaders reap the benefits of this holistic model of mainframe and cloud co-existence while managing costs, reducing risk, and improve agility?

 

Live Webinar: Core Modernization

Join us, together with IBM Z, for our webinar, “Core Banking Application Modernization for IBM Z and Zafin” on September 29, 2021 at 7 am PST | 10 am EST.

 

The webinar will cover:

  1. How to transform and modernize applications more efficiently,
  2. How to engage the API economy to extend your core, and
  3. How your bank can benefit from new real-time banking solutions.

Register

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