Mainframe Decommissioning: Use-Case GRAWE Group
How Deloitte helped GRAWE Group retire its legacy mainframe and transform its core applications for the future
GRAWE Group has succeeded in migrating the heart of its business, the central insurance application, from a mainframe platform to a Java environment. With the help of the team at Deloitte’s Center of Excellence for Application Modernization, the Austrian insurance company cut its costs by over 60%, while also enhancing the quality and flexibility of its operations.
The client situation
GRAWE Group was originally founded as a fire insurance company and has since grown into a multilateral, international company uniting insurance companies, banks and real estate under one umbrella. As a corporation that has always relied on state-of-the-art IT systems to ensure the highest quality standards, GRAWE was quick to harness the benefits of process automation and information technology to maintain their long-standing tradition of success.
The Group developed its first insurance applications more than 25 years ago and, like many companies at the time, ran them on an IBM mainframe. Since then, these applications have been continuously updated to meet customer demands and regulatory requirements. GRAWE’s core application ultimately had over 6 million lines of code written in the Natural programming language. This code integrated with other business applications via numerous interfaces, such as the database system Adabas, and there were also several other technologies in use, from REXX procedures to Assembler subroutines. It became increasingly challenging over time to maintain and update the application and its underlying data. The Group also had to deal with the high cost of the mainframe and a shrinking supply of talent with expertise in these legacy technologies. Given this adverse set of circumstances, the insurer engaged Deloitte’s Application Modernization expert team to facilitate the migration of all applications to a new target architecture, with the goal of retiring the mainframe.
Scope of the project
The goal was to transform the applications to Java and migrate the data to Oracle. In addition to the online applications, Deloitte successfully migrated the batch environment that consisted of approximately 11,000 jobs and had exhausted all options of VSE prior to this project. Following a one-year pilot phase and several weeks of intense testing, the migration team succeeded in easily transforming the system over a single weekend. Approval for company-wide use followed quickly after completion of the final tests, and all employees experienced a smooth transition to the newly migrated application.
The application modernization process
Deloitte guided the client through the transformation journey from start to finish, proceeding step by step as follows:
- Automated transformation of the Natural code to Java with 100% identical functionality
- Migration of the application data from Adabas to Oracle
- Setup of the new distributed production environment and new development environment
The migration started after close of business on a Friday, with all applications up and running on the new platform within 24 hours.
Watch the video to learn more about GRAWE’s transformation journey towards a future-proof enterprise.
Impact for the client
Thanks to Deloitte’s innoWake tools and expertise of Deloitte, GRAWE became the first major insurance group in Austria to run its core business entirely on an open-system platform. Decommissioning the mainframe after more than 25 years in use helped the Group to reduce operating costs in this area by up to 60 percent.
A lot of organizations are reluctant to replace the ageing mainframe platforms that have been serving them well for decades – despite their high operating costs and the imminent risks due to skill shortages and outdated development models.
The GRAWE case shows that decommissioning your mainframe can be a smooth, well-controlled project when you work with a partner that has the right experience and technology, understands how to manage deep transformations, and is truly committed to your success.
Karsten Ballüder, Lead of the EMEA CoE for Application Modernization and Migration
Deloitte Application Modernization & Migration
We have successfully delivered countless modernization projects for clients in all major industries and the public sector. Learn more about our services and the Deloitte Center of Excellence for Application Modernization.
More about insurance
The insurance team from Deloitte Germany offers its clients a holistic approach: Experienced industry experts from auditing, tax consulting, corporate finance and consulting will gladly advise you.