Part 1: Recap of 2022 Mainframe Modernisation Report Findings Discussion

24/11/2022 minute read Rob Anderson

We recently commissioned a survey of hundreds of IT leaders around the globe to learn about their mainframe modernisation strategies. The resulting 2022 Mainframe Modernisation Business Barometer Report summarises our findings on the state of today’s mainframes and the challenges facing enterprises with annual revenues of more than US $1 billion.

VP Marketing and Product Rob Anderson spoke to our panel of modernisation experts - Managing Director Tim Jones, Global VP Sales David Wurman, and Head of Development John Regan from Advanced’s Application Modernisation division to get their take on the report’s findings.

Watch the full discussion, or read on for our pick of the report’s most interesting results.

The cost of keeping mainframes running is increasing while the cost of alternative infrastructure, such as the cloud, is decreasing.  What stood out to you when speaking to organisations looking to modernise?

John Regan: “Money is usually at the root of most people's modernisation plans, but increasingly we're starting to see the lack of available skills also being an issue. The employees who know everything about the mainframe are getting older and they're starting to think about maybe retiring. So that's increasingly becoming an issue for organisations where they can't find the skills required to keep their mainframes ticking.”

Tim Jones: “Our report highlighted that the average annual mainframe spend is $65.4m. That’s a big number to keep the lights on! Only 13% of that spend is allocated towards innovation – even though it’s innovation that drives the organisation forward.”

Our report found security to be a top motivator for modernising mainframes.  Why is that?

Rob Anderson: “We're very surprised by this. In fact, this was a big topic of the follow up interviews with the respondents because we wanted to understand what that meant. Anybody who knows mainframes knows that mainframes are inherently incredibly secure. When we dug deeper there were three key areas:

  • Security compliance. Having staff that understand the languages, databases, and environment enough to correctly attest to and step through all the compliance standards required.
  • The increasing attack surface that comes with third-party connectivity to the mainframe in support of other modern platforms.
  • Organisations are increasingly more comfortable trusting the hyperscalers to secure their infrastructure. In other words many respondents feel AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, IBM and others are better suited to secure the infrastructure vs in house.

The security of the mainframe itself is not in question, in other words; it’s about more general security and its impact on the mainframe.“

John Regan: “We're seeing an increasing number of people who want to target the cloud for that very reason. The cloud is a good target from a mainframe modernisation perspective, because typically mainframe workloads tend to be pretty choppy – there are busy times of the day, busy times of the month where you need more resources and processing power. That's perfectly suited to a cloud environment, where you can dial things up and down. If you add that to the fact that you can also rely on the cloud providers to protect your security, it makes for a very powerful offer.”

We have seen an increase in public cloud platforms as a target. But there are still quite a few workloads that land in private clouds, private data centres, hybrid cloud environments and hosted mainframe environments.

Rob Anderson: “We're seeing a small group who love the mainframe but don't want to worry about the facilities costs.”

Tim Jones: “I think it's interesting that cloud has taken pole position now, and I think in lots of the conversations we have had, people probably don't go directly from mainframe to cloud. They go from mainframe to some data centre or a private cloud with the opportunity to move to cloud at some point in the future.”

To learn more, watch the full discussion with our panel of modernisation experts.

Get the results from our latest survey and research on all things mainframe.