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Mainframe-to-Cloud Migration Poised to Unlock Data

Breakthroughs bring new levels of scalability and data access for legacy applications, though U.S. enterprise adoption is still slow, ISG Provider Lens™ report says

Recent advances in tools for migrating legacy applications to the cloud have altered the mainframe market, but so far, few U.S. enterprises have adopted them, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

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“ISG expects the number and size of migration projects to grow significantly in the next three years”

The 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Mainframes – Services and Solutions report for the U.S. finds a growing number of automated tools available that can convert mainframe COBOL applications to cloud-based software in only days, with minimal engineering staff and with the potential for infinite scalability in the cloud. Many mainframe IT departments have just begun to learn about these capabilities.

Large-scale enterprise migrations have typically taken an average of 18 months or as much as five years. Given the scale and complexity of such projects, the market has been slower to adopt these automated migration tools than expected, ISG says. Lack of awareness and a shortage of qualified experts has also held back adoption.

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“At the current pace, with a small number of projects and slow execution, all possible mainframe-to-cloud migrations could take another 10 years to complete,” said Dave Goodman, director, Cloud and Software Advisory, at ISG.

In migrating mainframe applications to the cloud, organizations are seeking better access to the data captured in these legacy systems, the report says. With it, companies can leverage advanced analytics, AI, machine learning and data lakes. Other potential benefits include improved business agility and long-term cost reduction.

Strong growth in these projects is coming in the next few years as hyperscale cloud providers acquire and promote new tools, the report says.

“ISG expects the number and size of migration projects to grow significantly in the next three years,” said Bernie Hoecker, ISG partner, Enterprise Cloud. “AWS, Microsoft/Azure, Google Cloud Platform and other cloud providers will invest heavily in tools, processes, skills and infrastructure to enable clients to migrate from legacy to modern environments.”

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