UCOP Moves Off Mainframe and Saves $2.95 Million

Old mainframe computer

By John Ruzicka and Emily Weaver. UCOP is leaving behind a 50-year-old legacy technology and heading into the future in the cloud. What does that mean? As of June 30, 2022, we ended our reliance on the mainframe computer. 

As one of our oldest technologies, the mainframe had hosted many very important applications—everything from payroll for both active and retired employees, to corporate personnel data. This was an important project to get right. 

The project took two years and involved significant collaboration and hard work among many business partners (nine locations, the UCPath Center, and UCOP Information Technology Services). We converted 50 years’ worth of accumulated legacy mainframe applications and data to server-less native AWS. This also required significant effort on the part of application owners: Human Resources, Payroll, Institutional Research and Academic Planning, Academic Personnel and Programs, and Finance.

As a result of these efforts, the infrastructure cost of storing and running legacy applications and data is dropping from $3 million to $50K per year, a savings of $2.95 million! 


  • Converted 20 mainframe applications
  • Analyzed 64 terabytes of data
  • Analyzed 3,044 tables
  • Analyzed 900 data elements
  • Reached out to 366 stakeholders
  • Unraveled 35,000 lines of COBOL and FOCUS code

This project was a great example of collaboration and communication across many groups in many areas, with almost all the work being done entirely remotely. While there were some intense moments, the team got the job done. We saved money, increased security, eliminated redundancy and took a step into the future.

John Ruzicka
John Ruzicka is a Business Analyst, Information Technology Services, UC Office of the President. 
Emily Weaver
Emily Weaver is Director of HCM Data Services, UC Office of the President.

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