By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software\n\nIn today\u2019s digital world, technology can make or break a company\u2019s outcomes for its customers. As a result, all companies that use technology to meet or solve customer needs should consider themselves a tech company. In order to meet ever-changing customer demands, it\u2019s critical that companies understand why and how to successfully modernize their tech stacks in order to provide a top-notch customer experience.\n\nToo often, businesses make the mistake of blindly following tech trends and jumping from one platform to another without sufficient planning, disrupting operations and struggling to deliver outcomes and revenue. Instead, companies should look to modernize existing infrastructure \u2014 including mainframes. While these undertakings are complex, leaders can ensure a seamless experience by keeping in mind a few key points. \n\n1. Mainframes are still the backbone of many organizations\n\nMainframes have been the backbone of IT infrastructure for mission-critical companies for decades because of their resilience, security, and data governance. A report from Rocket Software, The State of the Mainframe, showed that these technologies are still the cornerstone of most large enterprises, with 80% of IT professionals agreeing that the mainframe is still critical to business operations. As cloud-based solutions continue to gain popularity, companies that can achieve selective and in-place modernization that combines both cloud and mainframe technology will be ahead of the curve.\n\n2. Modernizing in place ensures a seamless experience\n\nAs new innovative technologies enter the market, many organizations are looking to \u201crip and replace\u201d mainframe systems for cloud technologies. But while the impulse is strong, rip and replace approaches to modernization introduce significant risk, requiring a substantial time, cost, and energy investment with no guarantee of a successful outcome. Organizations must remember that ripping and replacing requires organizations to replace all of their IT infrastructure while maintaining the same level of security, data governance, and resiliency as the mainframe \u2014 a nearly impossible task.\n\nFortunately, with the right tools and technology, any innovative application can be developed in the cloud and then safely and securely connected to the mainframe with little adoption. These hybrid infrastructure models allow businesses to continue leveraging the reliability and security of their mainframe infrastructure while also taking advantage of the latest tools to provide teams with the flexibility and user experience they crave.\n\n3. Hybrid cloud is the future\n\nWith 10 of the top-10 companies in the defense, space, banking, and healthcare industries continuing to leverage mainframe technology through hybrid cloud models, it\u2019s clear that hybrid infrastructures are the future. By enabling core infrastructure to continue living in mainframe environments while leveraging APIs that provide teams and customers with access to cloud solutions and web and mobile applications, businesses are providing a modern experience for employees and end-users without taking on additional risk. \n\n4. Customers are at the core of modernization \n\nCompanies that take the time to understand what their customers really want from their business can take a more strategic approach to modernization. By identifying customer needs and then working backward, teams can more clearly determine where modernization is necessary in order to deliver the desired outcomes. By making customers the central point of modernization efforts, companies not only mitigate disruptions and save time and resources, but also ensure efforts are aligned with what their customers truly want.\n\nAs we dive deeper into an age of modernization, Rocket is looking forward to the challenges ahead as we continue our mission to simplify mainframe modernization. To learn how Rocket Software can simplify your mainframe modernization project, visit our modernization page.