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Mainframe modernization in Asia: Transition Journey of a major bank

29. 04. 2024

A major Asian bank transitions from the VSE operating system to z/OS. We are here to share the process with you.

A major Asian bank transitions from the VSE operating system to z/OS. We are here to share the process with you. 

The need for mainframe modernization

We’re excited to kick off a significant migration project in Asia, marking the commencement of our partnership with a major regional bank in collaboration with IBM.  This project shows how we tailor solutions to the specific needs and challenges of our customers in dynamic markets.   

In collaboration with IBM and the client, we conducted live, detailed project planning sessions to establish precise steps for successful project execution. This strategic approach enables us to identify potential challenges, allocate resources effectively, and establish clear milestones to track progress throughout the project lifecycle. 

The customer expressed an urgent need to modernize its mainframe infrastructure. In particular, the transition from the VSE operating system to z/OS is critical to improving performance, scalability and security and meets the customer’s long-term business goals and compliance requirements.   

Realisation of the project

As the very first step of the project, CROZ, under the guidance of IBM’s excellent coordination and project management and in good cooperation with the client, conducted an assessment to capture all details of the running z/VSE environment (hardware and software architecture, hardware configuration, software inventory, software and operating system configurations, system management patterns, security settings and management, application inventory, application data type and scope, application lifecycle management, regulatory requirements, etc.).

The details identified served as a solid foundation for the rest of the project, where we linked the client’s requirements/expectations and the details gathered with the z/OS platform to create a new environment that will have all the functionalities of the old one, but designed to meet all the criteria for a sustainable platform that allows for easy upgrades and expansions while keeping up with technology standards.

As the entire project is not yet complete, we will write about the next steps in the next blog articles.

Benefits for the Client

At the end of the project, the Customer will experience all the benefits of the z/OS platform:  


Since z/OS is designed to support large workloads and improve scalability. The customer will be able to address the need for the growth of an organization’s IT requirements over time without significant architectural changes.  

Enhanced Performance 

Compared to z/VSE, z/OS offers superior performance capabilities, particularly for large-scale transaction processing and data-intensive applications. This will result in faster response times and increased throughput for critical business operations.  

Advanced Features  

z/OS provides a broad range of advanced features and capabilities. These include support for complex networking protocols, advanced security features, high availability and disaster recovery solutions, and extensive middleware and application integration options. New, advanced features will help customers to easily follow new technical requirements and standards.  

Integration with Modern Technologies  

z/OS is more tightly integrated with modern technologies and industry standards, making it easier to integrate mainframe systems with other platforms, applications, and services within the customer IT ecosystem. This integration will facilitate interoperability and data exchange between mainframe and distributed systems, as well as better control of application lifecycle management.  

Long-Term Support  

Z/OS is IBM’s strategic operating system making it a more sustainable choice for organizations planning for the future. This will reduce the risk of platform obsolescence and minimize the need for frequent migrations or upgrades.  

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements  

Especially for organizations operating in regulated industries such as finance, healthcare, or government,  z/OS majorly helps to meet specific compliance and regulatory requirements. z/OS offers robust security and audit capabilities that can help the customer demonstrate compliance with industry standards and regulations.  

The Importance of Modernization for Large Banks and Other Mainframe Users

Large banks and other mainframe customers, usually run their critical business systems on mainframe. They value the reliability, scalability and security of the mainframe platform; however, they keep this critical the infrastructure updated. Additionally, lots of today’s enterprises want to further optimize mainframe applications and architecture by enhancing applications, adding capabilities, modernizing user interfaces, etc.   (hybrid-cloud, DevOps, machine learning, data-streaming) with traditional mainframe technologies. We help our clients create a roadmap to transform the mainframe expand its capabilities and maintain competitive advantage in the industry. 

How We Can Assist with Your Mainframe Modernization

As biz-tech consultants, we assist our clients in modernizing their mainframe systems. In each project, our first step is to understand our client’s business and technology drivers for modernization. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for success. We prepare a roadmap for modernization that ensures all technical and business targets are met. After creating the roadmap, we proceed with assessments and proof-of-concept work before preparing the actual implementation plan. For less complex topics, we streamline the process directly. The comprehensive plan takes into consideration risk mitigation strategies and a thorough testing plan.

While some clients may choose to remain on VSE because it fits their requirements, we may help them modernise other aspects of their systems, such as integrations, DevOps, or automation. Since migration is a lengthy process, the short-term solution for compliance and support is to upgrade from IBM z/VSE to 21CS VSEn. After this upgrade, the customer can decide whether to continue with VSE or pursue a long-term migration to z/OS.

With our team of experts and extensive experience in managing large-scale projects, we are well-equipped to assist organizations in navigating the complexities of mainframe modernization and migration. We know what needs to be done and how to do it, ensuring top quality and successful outcomes for our clients.    

Header image credits go to Sean Pollock on Unsplash.

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