Ed Airey, Product Marketing Director at Micro Focus explores why IT leaders should make a move to the latest versions of enterprise application software—ultimately reducing risk and total cost of ownership. If you’re running enterprise applications on early versions of Micro Focus COBOL, such as Net Express or Server Express, this blog is for you.
It's Not Broken. Why Fix It?
We’ve all heard the adage, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” Although an interesting and entertaining motto, it’s often one that leads to perpetual delay and inaction. Staying with the status quo may work for a time, perhaps even years, but is this really a strategy you want to employ with your core business applications? A research survey conducted by Zen Business reported that nearly 70% of business software packages were viewed by employees as outdated and in need of upgrade. But for many within IT this is the reality of balancing cost, risk, and time. Many existing enterprise applications run on back-dated hardware and software platforms. As IT resources and budgets remain stagnant, it becomes increasingly more challenging to keep pace with change, including software upgrades.
Keeping COBOL Current
This challenging of keeping current is most noticeable for older applications written in programming languages such as COBOL.
Finding the skilled talent with experience and knowledge to both maintain and modernize these systems can also be challenging. But keeping current is more aligned to strategy than resource. Most companies continue to rely on COBOL applications to compete in the marketplace. A 2021 study by research firm, Vanson Bourne, revealed that 92% of businesses running software packages written in COBOL are seen as strategic and over 80% of those same applications are expected to be in operation for decades—perhaps longer. So, it would seem there is a strong business case for software upgrade. But what are the options and what assistance is available to support this process?
Make Your Move— Modernize
For organizations with enterprise applications written in Micro Focus COBOL and running on Net Express or Sever Express technology, there’s good news. The latest release of its leading development and modernization solution, Visual COBOL v8.0, is now available!
What is Visual COBOL and why move up? For over ten years, Visual COBOL has offered a modern platform for COBOL application development and deployment. Those working with COBOL programs can take advantage of the latest technology to support and modernize existing systems. Whether your application strategy is to run and maintain what you have or to modernize and expand to new markets, Visual COBOL offers a variety of NEW capabilities to support your journey. Here’s a few good reasons why staying current can keep your COBOL application environment running smoothly and position you for future success:
- COBOL compatibility: Native support for existing Micro Focus COBOL applications running on Net Express and Server Express platforms.
- New deployment platforms: Support for the latest versions of Windows, Unix, and Linux as well as Docker Containers and Kubernetes, .NET, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and Cloud.
- New development tools: New COBOL development tools using Visual Studio or Eclipse IDEs, plus new support for Visual Studio code, enabling agile development and continuous delivery.
- New modernization tools: Support for API development, REST, JSON, COBOL code refactoring, and microservices.
- Application understanding and security: Integrated tools for static code analysis and visualization, documentation, application security, and rapid code change.
- .NET and Java integration: Compile existing COBOL programs directly to .NET or Java byte code—without code change.
- Cloud: Support for COBOL applications within the public cloud marketplace, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
- Updated product lifecycle: Four years of committed support, providing access to new patches and fixes.
And these are just a snapshot of the many new features now available in Visual COBOL 8.0, enabling you to both run and transform your core business applications. Get the most value from your current Net Express and Server Express applications and protect your investment. Visit our resource page for everything you need to plan your software upgrade today!
If you are planning your upgrade or considering a move from Net Express or Server Express to Visual COBOL, and need technical assistance, we can help. There is a wide range of materials and programs available to assist you at each step of your upgrade journey. Our resource page includes many of these offerings including online documentation, technical forums, and fast-start professional services offerings. Or if you’d prefer to speak with a technical expert, just complete the form on this page.
Need More Proof?
If you’re still not sure if a move from Net Express or Server Express to Visual COBOL is right for you, then I encourage you to listen to this customer success story. Hear how this digital streaming services provider increased application performance by over 200 percent with a combined hardware and software upgrade, improved batch processing time, and put themselves on a path for future modernization—by moving from Net Express to Visual COBOL. Watch the Video.
Within IT, change is constant and keeping pace requires an evolving and flexible strategy. Don’t delay. Now is the time to make your move and modernize. Start your journey with Visual COBOL 8.0.