The cost-effective future of mainframe modernization

As Europe’s enterprises return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, they are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to combine mainframe dependability with the flexibility of the cloud, according to ISG.

mainframe modernization

Mainframe modernization services market accelerates

The report finds that an increased focus on updated IT infrastructure and digital transformation has led to a corresponding acceleration in the mainframe modernization services market.

Although many companies still depend on them for reliability, availability and security, mainframes can be an albatross when it comes to innovation, the report says. Many European enterprises find they are unable to respond rapidly to the deployment of new or updated products.

Enterprises that are still running mainframes recognize the need to update their legacy applications and connect them to cloud-based technologies.

“When it comes to mainframe modernization, advanced enterprises have two basic options: migrate or adapt,” said Anna Medkouri, partner, ISG EMEA region. “They can move their legacy applications to the cloud or update those applications using APIs, microservices and DevOps, depending on the business case.”

European enterprises have trouble finding IT talent

Consulting and professional service providers are supplying solutions to optimize and modernize mainframe systems by automating processes, analyzing and updating application code, and deploying DevOps, the report says.

In the past, European enterprises have frequently relied on smaller IT providers, often with a local presence and an ability to provide specialists who speak the same language, the report says. Yet despite this multilingual environment, there is only one language that truly matters in the mainframe world: COBOL.

Although mainframe clients are struggling with this limitation as the costs of hardware acquisition, maintenance and software licensing all increase, the growth of the mainframe modernization market has introduced opportunities for innovation, automation and consolidation, the report says.

“European enterprises are concerned about finding IT talent that is capable of maintaining and managing their legacy systems,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “This has led to an increased demand for third-party service providers who can help to close the skills gap.”

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