Mainframe Modernization

Charting a new course

Helping clients exit the mainframe and carve out a native flagship platform

Learn how Product Perfect helped a large real estate data firm assess its IT footprint to plan a multi-year modernization effort.

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Modernizing legacy applications of all types

Converting, rewriting, and redeveloping desktop, web, and legacy apps for our clients.

Mainframe Software Redevelopment

Working with clients to modernize and redevelop their flagship mainframe software applications.

Legacy Software Migration

Stepping into complex and interconnected systems that drive the primary revenue streams of our clients global businesses. These legacy platform migrations provide rewiring at a scale of complexity rarely seen in the life of the company.

Strategic Migration Planning

Pairing up with key client subject matter experts to compose multi-year, multi-million dollar software migration plans.

"LERETA had a very positive experience with Product Perfect, complete with tangible results, following an incredibly important and complex engagement."

Paul Larkin, Former Chairman of the Board, LERETA

"We can't share specifics on some of these large confidential mainframe modernization projects, but this aspect of our business is critical and thriving."

Alan Katawazi, Senior Consultant, Product Perfect

"We worked with one of the largest tax payment processors in the United States on their mainframe modernization planning."

Shawn Livermore, Senior Consultant, Product Perfect

The often overlooked benefits of modernizing the mainframe

Besides the obvious benefits of faster and more up-to-date development platforms, mainframe modernization can produce a host of additional benefits. These supplemental benefits can impact bottom-line performance, speed to market, employee retention, and overall brand integrity for your organization.

Bridging the Skills Gap

As COBOL experts age out of the workforce, new developers and engineers are no longer developing proficiency in these skills. Upgrading to object-oriented programming languages creates a viable path to cloud integration while establishing consistency with modern IT and development skill sets.

Improved CapEx and OpEx

The large footprint, energy consumption, and IT resources required by traditional mainframe architecture present obvious cost concerns combined with unlimited hidden cost potential. A purposeful migration to cloud-based solutions improves efficiency while reducing redundancy and monitoring requirements.

Reduced Maintenance

Legacy mainframe architecture is notoriously expensive to maintain, and traditional horizontal scaling (scaling out) produces a linear uptick in maintenance, hardware, and software licensing expenditures. Upgrading legacy code and offloading data to the cloud helps to defray spiraling mainframe maintenance costs.

Sample deliverables for legacy systems modernization & planning consultative engagements

Preview sample deliverables from a mainframe software modernization assessment or implementation.

Application Topology Diagrams

These comprehensive and intricate topology diagrams help to capture the specific and far-reaching integrations within all applications in the enterprise. Clients may look at the entire picture, or choose to limit the purview to just a specific subset of applications and databases.

Preview Deliverable Samples

Web Service Integrations

These diagrams showcase how and where webservices are called, and underlying data is flowing through apps and databases. Clients may opt to see the big picture view, or narrowly scope the model to just specific applications.

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Data-Flow Diagram

A comprehensive flow of data through all primary systems, apps, and databases.

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Database Integration Topology

All integration points across all data stores and databases in the IT footprint.

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Dependency Diagrams

Application & project milestone dependencies visualized, showing relational and logical flows.

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of the world's top 100 banks run IBM Z systems mainframes.

2020 Accenture

Modernization and the psychological barriers for C-level executives

Senior Technology Consultant, Shawn Livermore, speaks to the psychological barriers IT executives often experience when facing daunting modernization initiatives.

Read the interview

The strategic mainframe modernization process

Successful mainframe modernization projects must focus on determining the strategy, tools, and technologies needed to minimize delays in implementation and risks to business continuity.


Understanding and documenting mainframe resource deployment and assessing the criticality associated with each application are important first steps. A complete inventory and analysis of mainframe components leads to more informed modernization options and roadmaps. An assessment will also uncover underused legacy assets that can be eliminated to trim costs.


Topology mapping provides high levels of insight into the relationships between infrastructure and applications. While many organizations maintain diagrams for specific programs and systems, detailed topology that spans all architectural layers can be useful for developing an optimized modernization strategy.


Integration encompasses the tools and processes that successfully link the mainframe with the larger cloud-enabled ecosystem.  Hybrid cloud strategies allow organizations to offload less critical applications, improve visibility, and leverage modern machine learning capabilities.

Tech Selection

An assessment can reveal which tech options are the most useful and cost-effective. While a highly functional mainframe with ample capacity might only require code optimization, a mainframe hosting less sensitive or non-redundant applications might benefit from complete re-hosting in the cloud.


A robust planning process involving all key stakeholders is useful for avoiding delays and minimizing unplanned rework. The outputs of this planning should include test and data archiving strategies along with data migration and integration timelines. Detailed planning is one key to avoiding the pitfalls that derail many modernization projects.


Inertia in mainframe modernizations projects is often the result of risk mitigation or a fear of the unknown when it comes to bread-winning mainframe processing, storage, and security functions. Optionality is based on leaving available options open as long as possible. A measured and conservative approach to cloud migration, data retention, and other modernization activities can help to reduce risk exposure and the potential impact of unexpected technical challenges.

Execution path

A cross-functional commitment to the mainframe modernization project with the input and guidance of industry experts can lead to successful execution with appreciable financial returns. Execution does not end when the modernization effort is completed.  KPI and ROI tracking bring greater success and efficiency to the next mainframe modernization effort.

Our extensive experience in legacy platforms and systems

We’ve worked with many different legacy platforms, connecting and modernizing them to state of the art technology and infrastructure.

Mainframe modernization consultative approaches


Integration software used to ‘wrap’ the mainframe system allows any modern system to communicate with them, while still preserving the integrity of and continued operational state of the mainframe.


The rewrite option entails a complete breakdown of the application to determine its minimally viable requirements, followed by a rewrite in a modern language and platform. This may be often the most expensive, and yet, may offer the most value to the organization overall.

Lift & Shift

This approach involves using software conversion tools to convert legacy code (Natural, Cobol, etc.) into an modern languages to run on modern platforms. Challenges exist using such tools, as they are usually only 80-90% accurate, and require further development to bring closer to 100% pairing with true system requirements.


This rehosting option, ‘lifts and shifts’ all the existing legacy mainframe code to a cloud environment (Azure, AWS, etc.). The application is then accessible with the help of cloud emulators. The underlying business logic and user interface are left intact to minimize project risk and duration. The old code still exists, and updates to it must continue to take place. But at least the hardware issue of the mainframe is addressed.

Other application modernization services

Aside from our full service technology software consulting general offerings, we offer various other types application modernization, including these below.

Connect with our team for a focused, collaborative session.

Schedule Call

Discovery Call

Senior consultants with previous experience with these types of projects can set the stage for a well-framed engagement.

Discovery Call Details

Product Deep-Dive

A focused session on your specific software applications, platforms, or projects. Typically this includes technical resources from both sides.

Deep Dive Call Details