Eyeing the fertile market of IBM mainframe installations, HP, Oracle and Intel will provide details today of their joint initiative, the Application Modernisation Initiative.

It incorporates a number of SOA and grid concepts and it’s about migrating legacy applications from mainframe environments - often the core systems that still run the IT infrastructure in many global corporations and most financial institutions.

The aim is “to reduce costs and mitigate risks” but the new venture is expected to help the vendor trio “capture a greater share of the migration and modernisation of mainframe-based applications than they would on their own,” according to Dwight Davis, vice president, Ovum Summit.

HP has been operating aggressively in this space for over a year and it estimates that the market for application modernisation systems is $25 billion and growing.

Davis says there is no doubt that many applications could benefit by being rehosted on modern, standards-based systems, “but some customers will question whether it makes sense to have a specific target platform defined before analysing the nature of their legacy applications and the best options for migrating and modernising them."

He added: “The trio's promotion of a specific reference architecture platform on which to rehost legacy applications carries risks as well as benefits for customers… and not every assessment will lead to the reference architecture platform that HP, Oracle and Intel have defined with the initiative.”