The State considers its mainframe platform to be mission-critical. The platform runs important services including welfare and social services for its citizens.
However, NWRDC was approaching a juncture. A combination of factors was leading it to reassess the future direction of its mainframe estate. The factors included:
- Its mainframe servers were aging and one, in particular, needed to be replaced soon as it approached end of support.
- Key staff were considering retirement and the skills required to run the mainframe servers were increasingly scarce.
- Many state agencies were undertaking modernization projects which were potentially going to move them off the mainframe platform in the future.
This final factor was key. The concern was that as agencies migrated off, it would result in incrementally higher costs for remaining agencies with the ultimate concern that one agency would be left with “last man standing” risk. As a result, the State desired a more flexible cloud-like model for its mainframe platform that could both increase and reduce capacity as required without impacting cost.