While many may not consider COBOL for adapting business applications to support mobile use, its simplicity and therefore adaptability, makes this programming language, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of all critical business processes, the perfect candidate to take IT into the mobile era. With tools such as Visual Studio or Eclipse, developers are able to modernise applications to support new mobile applications across a wide number of technical platforms. COBOL can be used in each instance to efficiently deliver business services and their supporting data from the back-end to the user. The benefits of re-using COBOL systems rather than re-writing them are numerous and include a faster delivery of IT service, at lower cost and risk, while retaining intellectual property and competitive advantage.
2. Thoroughly test your apps
When undertaking a considerable project such as adapting to mobile, testing is one area that cannot be compromised. However traditional testing practices can mean that projects can overrun on time as well as budget. By moving application testing for mobile, web and related back-end systems to a more cost- effective environment that is easy to use, testing phases are able to be completed much faster and more thoroughly without eating into mainframe power. These environments also lend themselves better to supporting test automation and performance testing needs.
3. Review your workload deployment strategy
In order to cope with potential spikes in activity that mobile may bring, many businesses in Singapore and in the region may look to add extra back-office capacity. However, this can be a costly solution. For example, mainframe system capacity may be in the region of approximately £2,500 (US$3,800) per MIPS. Instead, IT managers can look to optimise workload deployment and seize advantage of server choice (For example, IBM zEnterprise allows workload to be shared across Windows, Power, Linux and z/OS partitions) to free up precious capacity to support mobile application needs.
Adapting your IT processes to mobile, if approached in a strategic and efficient fashion, does not have to be the costly and disruptive burden that Forrester Research suggests. Much can be done with existing IT infrastructures and core assets to improve efficiency without requiring complete overhauls or re-builds that ensure that the IT infrastructure is able to take businesses in to the future as cost-efficiently as possible.
Derek Britton is Solution Marketing Director at Micro Focus.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.