Cloud Solutions and CICS Applications
Enterprises everywhere are reinventing business and gaining competitive advantage from cloud computing. Those that rely on the mainframe are poised to lead the cloud revolution because of the mainframe’s unmatched power and IBM’s ongoing commitment to deliver innovative cloud capabilities in System z and CICS.
In the mainframe world, much of the hype these days focuses on the “big iron” topics of infrastructure and platform services – deservedly so. However, as HostBridge customers will attest, there are cloud opportunities in CICS applications and data as well.
Integrating CICS into an eHealth Cloud Architecture
A health insurance provider uses HostBridge web services to integrate its mainframe applications and data into an eHealth Cloud Architecture. This cloud solution is a collaborative effort of a leading enterprise technology consultant and several of its client-partners, including the health insurance provider. Prompted by a call for a national electronic health records system, the partners envisioned a much more powerful solution – a comprehensive platform to drive health-related information exchanges and information-dependent processes.
The partners were well positioned to develop and deploy this eHealth Cloud Architecture. They all had deep expertise in healthcare and related industries, and they all had years of experience leveraging Internet-connected computers and devices as well as flexible, standards-based services for system interoperability.
Designed from the outset to scale for multiple tenants, the architecture utilizes cloud-oriented design to integrate any enterprise system and provide the services necessary – infrastructure, platforms, applications, and data – for participation by stakeholders nationwide. These include healthcare professionals, healthcare facilities, government agencies, insurance companies, many diverse service, product, and information providers, and millions of citizens.
For the insurance provider, HostBridge web services provide the feed from backend CA Ideal policy applications to a cloud-based Web application available to all insurance providers. Through the Web front end, any authorized requestor – policyholder, insurance company employee, or healthcare provider – can access the backend policy application from any client device. The insurance provider’s users are now fully connected in a cloud system that embraces hospitals, clinics, medical offices, physicians, pharmacists, emergency personnel, other service providers, health insurance companies, and millions of residents.
Deploying Integrated CICS-Based Applications as a Service
Another HostBridge customer took a different approach to CICS-based cloud computing. A provider of insurance services, this organization deployed distinct CICS-based Web applications for policyholders, employees, and provider partners. Providing much more than a simple emulation-style “interface-lift,” these new Web solutions are really dynamic applications running on top of the legacy application and delivering higher-order functionality and added business value.
The insurance provider has now taken these applications to the cloud, providing them as a service for use by another organization’s policyholders, employees, and partners. Encompassing policy applications, a CA Datacom database, HostBridge integration software, Web server, and Web application, the cloud service provides clear benefits to both sides. The subscriber-organization is able to deploy a proven solution immediately, avoid the cost of development, and deliver upgrades transparently. And the provider-organization has improved its bottom line with services it can offer to a broader audience.
Cloud computing offers the visionary enterprise many opportunities to rethink and re-architect the way they do business. Wherever Web services integration has a role in the cloud architecture – whether connecting mainframe applications and data to the cloud or delivering applications as cloud solutions – HostBridge can make it happen.