Cloud – the path to legacy modernization
Blog //20-01-2023

Cloud – the path to legacy modernization

by Tim Jones, Managing Director - Application Modernization

Organizations are actively aiming to reduce their dependency on legacy systems such as mainframes.

From our 2022 Mainframe Modernization Business Barometer Report, which summarizes findings from a recent survey of global mainframe users, 41% of respondents indicated that they have modernized mainframe workloads within the past year. 90% reported having undergone this transformation within the past three years, while only 11% undertook modernization initiatives prior to 2019.  We believe this is due primarily to the mass disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Interestingly, security was also identified as a key factor in driving modernization initiatives. In follow-up interviews, respondents indicated that the security of the mainframe itself is rarely in question, its more often about the security of data, surrounding regulatory compliance standards and adherence, as well as infrastructure management. Read our blog about ‘How security is driving mainframe modernization’.

We also found that organizations are migrating workloads to cloud platforms en masse, and they’re not just embracing cloud hyperscalers as infrastructure providers; they’re inviting them into the critical operations of their businesses with open arms.

40% of our survey respondents rated scalability and elasticity as the most attractive characteristic of migrating to the cloud. Additionally, the myriad of managed solutions that cloud providers extend within their ecosystems was cited by many participants (23%) as the most valuable consequence of migrating to the cloud.

When it comes to business-critical systems, 68% of survey respondents indicated that they preferred migrating mainframe workloads to public cloud environments, while private clouds (54%) and hosted mainframe environments (35%) were placed second and third respectively.  Tim Jones, Managing Director of Application Modernization at Advanced notes “Some organizations take a phased approach to modernization. They go from mainframe to some data center or a private cloud with the opportunity to move to cloud at some point in the future.

As one respondent commented, The world is changing, and new technologies are changing the whole canvas of operations. Old mainframe systems cannot integrate with the ongoing and upcoming trends and technologies. To maximize the effective use of new technologies, we have to choose and use cloud services, which significantly helps us in many ways.”

Security (31%), cost (20%), and track record of success (19%) were listed as the deciding factors in selecting cloud providers.

Although cloud provider preference varied across organizations and industries, our research did not uncover a statistically relevant preference for one vendor over another. In fact, vendor selection criteria relied as much on existing relationships as it did on capability.

According to a government agency in Oceania: “We indeed follow a multiple cloud strategy as we have worked closely with two cloud providers, Microsoft and AWS. Microsoft provides risk assessment and better wind speed analysis. We are also using AWS for our operations, which run around 80 digital services and applications.”

Our 2022 Mainframe Modernization Business Barometer Report summarizes key findings from a survey of organizations around the globe that utilize mainframes and generate annual revenues of more than US $1 billion. To view the full report, which delves into key mainframe modernization catalysts and insights behind successful migration strategies across sectors and geographies, download here.

Our team of modernization experts has an unmatched history of project success, backed by the best tools available. If you would like to find out more about how we can help with your legacy modernization projects, please get in touch.

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Tim Jones

Tim Jones


Managing Director - Application Modernization

Tim has a track record of success in mission-critical Application Modernization projects. He is renowned for helping organizations maximise their investment in critical legacy applications.

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