What Adds Value?

If you do not add real business value to your modernized application, your project may not succeed.

Things that make or save money for the business add value. They range from business process and productivity improvements, lower training costs to happier staff. Similarly, things that allow end-users to do their jobs faster, better and smarter, with a higher level of personal satisfaction add value.   

Introducing trivial value items such as using a tree to replace 5250 menu navigation with a few radio buttons and drop downs may be nice to have, but to an end-user they might even have a negative value.   

Some of the ways to add real value to an existing 5250 application are:

Using smart and powerful filters to access data

Filters add value because they can easily do things that the existing 5250 application cannot do, and because they can be tailored to exactly match common end-user business processes.

For example, if you take a basic product enquiry 5250 screen and add a powerful filter over the product master and order details tables, you can add a lot of value to an end-users working life, for example by making it possible to find all products on order today, or on back order, search by name, search by category, etc.

Filters that allow end users to define their own repetitive custom searches (for example every Monday I want to see all products sold last week) or dynamically create commonly used lists (for example all products marked as hazardous) also add significant real value.

If your filters simply mimic the 5250 application you will not be adding much value.  

Consolidating information 

Often 5250 applications require people working in warehouses and offices to extract information from multiple sources and consolidate it into management reports or use it for input to disparate and non-integrated applications.

If you can consolidate these tasks on a single form with a single click or two, you will add real value to management and to users.   

Integrating with desktop applications

Add value by integrating functionality such as e-mail that aids communications between users and customers, and MS-Excel that aids in reporting and analysis tasks.       

Reducing repetition and rekeying

Lots of 5250 applications still require users to rekey information because the underlying 5250 applications are not integrated.

If you can reduce or eliminate this you will add value to management and users. Smart prompting and pre-filling 5250 screens, sometimes from a user-definable list of templates, are also good ways to add value.    


The things listed above are simple examples of what is at the root of most effective business process re-engineering. It is about what you already have and then reusing it in a new improved way.

You need to consider all this at Stage 1: Creating a Modernization Framework.