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Thursday, 24 February 2022 13:59

Taking a Low-Risk Approach to Mainframe Modernization — HUD


How do you transform the slow pace of technological innovation within a federal agency into an opportunity for innovation and IT systems modernization? Start by taking a cue from the partnership between TSRI and GovCIO. With backing from the Federal Government’s Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) our joint teams propelled the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from an outdated twentieth-century Unisys COBOL system into modern, service-oriented Java that was performant and functionally equivalent.

TSRI worked with GovGIO on their process designed to successfully migrate the applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud. They started by defining the five key project goals and taking an inventory of system components, including intersecting platforms. Once we had identified what the unique technical challenges were and how to address each, we created testing strategies and migrated the data stores for each system. Finally, we executed an automated code conversion and refactored the legacy COBOL code.

TSRI’s partnership with GovCIO executed a rapid, holistic mainframe migration process for HUD that has improved their organizational performance while minimizing risk. On day one after the productions systems were switched over from the Unisys mainframe to the Microsoft Azure cloud, the new system supported 25,356 users and 299,715 transactions with only three user problems reported. These are the HUD systems that manage, store, and protect all the personal financial and employment-related eligibility information for FHA insured financing. Given the criticality of the data managed every day by HUD, it was important that the migration run without impact on operations. The result could be seen in the first 30 days during which the new system disbursed just over $2.7 billion dollars in HUD program funds without a single error.

 

Review the details of how TSRI and GovCIO successfully executed this complex modernization project in our recently published case study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 9 Low-Risk Steps That Led to Success

You might be surprised that HUD and other government agencies still run their IT on mainframes using COBOL (first released in the 1950’s), or MUMPS (from the 1970’s). Running on these aging platforms presents an extensive list of challenges to these agencies: data management, growing storage, collaboration, security, etc. The modernization process typically involves risk, time, and significant expense. It’s understandable that a large agency like HUD would want to select a partner they knew could deliver a low-risk, high-accuracy result.

Working together, we adhered to GovCIO’s nine-step best-practices process that resulted in modernizing systems to modern cloud architectures that can now evolve with HUD, while preventing negative impacts to their mission, day-to-day operations, and security.

 

 

For more details on the nine-step process that enabled HUD to enter the cloud age, read our latest white paper with GovCIO.

A first-person account of HUD’s modernization process with Roger Knapp – Executive Vice President and HUD Program Manager

Only a few engineers know what it feels like to lead a major government agency through an automated mainframe modernization. Roger Knapp is one of them and has been working in the field for over 30 years. As Executive VP of Engineering & Service Delivery at TSRI, Roger has unique insights on the HUD project. He sat down to share them in an interview with GovCIO as part of their Partner Spotlight.

In a short chat, he shares how the TSRI-GovCIO team overcame the challenges not only of modernizing a nationally mission-critical system at risk of obsolescence, but also how to deal with the presence of dynamic SQL data in the legacy application logic.

Get the story straight from Roger in his interview with GovCIO.

 

 

TSRI is Here for You

As a leading provider of software modernization services, TSRI enables technology readiness for the cloud and other modern architecture environments. We bring software applications into the future quickly, accurately, and efficiently with low risk and minimal business disruption, accomplishing in months what would otherwise take years.

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