I want to modernize my mainframe. How can CGI help?

For many organizations, day-to-day maintenance of existing systems leaves little time and resources for innovation, let alone something as disruptive as modernizing a core system. Further, mainframe modernization requires new skills and tools.

We help clients transition toward more agile, flexible and less costly platforms, while preserving the value and stability of their legacy applications. Our modernization approach migrates mainframe-based applications to open and cost-effective Unix and Linux-based platforms, generating the following benefits:

  • 50-70% reduction in infrastructure and application maintenance costs
  • 30-50% redeployment of resources towards innovation

How do I select the right modernization strategy?

Every mainframe is different and has its own set of challenges, while every organization also has unique business goals and technology preferences. Very rarely will a modernization approach rely on just one method. Typically, an effective modernization path will involve a mix-and-match of methods to meet the specific needs of a particular client or system.

The good news is that there are a variety of effective strategies and solutions. We have a proven record in mainframe modernization and are technology independent, meaning that we work with a wide range of solutions and vendors to deliver the best outcomes for each client. 

CGI’s Global Competency Center for mainframe modernization

We offer a specialized team of highly experienced technology professionals within our Global Competency Center for IT modernization whose goal is to align a client’s vision and goals with the evolution of its IT infrastructure.

Our proprietary M8 capability—an automated tools environment for modernization—helps clients overcome mainframe challenges and migrate to cost-effective, flexible platforms with little risk to their business processes, often within 6 to 12 months.


A road across the river

The core business of a global energy company ran on a 6,400 MIPS mainframe that was operating 90% above its maximum capacity, with no room for adding new functions and a 40TB DB2 database that could not scale.

CGI provisioned a new platform composed of a cluster of UNIX Solaris machines and an Oracle database. Migration to the new platform took less than four months, with minimal downtime, and now the company benefits from platform cost savings in excess of 90%, along with faster response rates and lower capacity utilization.



A government client had decommissioned applications and business processes from its mainframe, but two critical Cobol-based applications remained. CGI migrated the two applications to a new Oracle- and Unix-based platform on time and on budget.

Because the new environment was similar to the old, the same developers could maintain the two applications while also benefitting from new tools and technologies. The migration saved the client 90% in platform maintenance costs while delivering the same levels of performance, stability and reliability.

Retiring the mainframe

Retiring a mainframe platform can save up to 90% of associated operating expenses, reduce time for competitive upgrades, and more. Yet, for various business reasons, many organizations are unable to replace their mainframe applications entirely and continue to work around their challenges.

There is good news for such organizations. With today’s modernization paths, they can keep all of their mainframe applications intact while, at the same time, moving to a modern, open and cost-effective platform—all without investing a single dollar into the new platform. Is this too good to be true?

Learn more.

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Learn more about our modernization services

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your mainframe challenges and opportunities.

Contact us for a conversation on how we can help you.

Also, learn more about our application modernization services in general, as well as our specialized cloud modernization capabilities.