- Businesses plan to modernize half of legacy IT systems and applications they have traditionally relied on for core operations in the next two years, according to a recent report by Infosys, the digital services and consulting firm.
- Of the 88% of enterprise IT that requires modernization, nearly half is currently mainframe-based. More than half of those mainframe environments support core business applications, according to the report, which surveyed 1,500 senior technology leaders and executives.
- To accomplish modernization without disrupting operations, companies should move away from reliance on discretionary modernization spending. Investing strategically helps ensure that modernized applications can coexist with legacy applications during the transition, according to the report.
Economic uncertainty, supply chain breakdowns, rising interest rates and wavering concern about possible recession have not dampened enthusiasm for modernization. Most companies remain committed to increasing IT investment, even as they consider other spending cutbacks.
For many of those companies, the modernization finish line is coming into view — as are the remaining challenges.
Modernization means different things to different companies, but it almost always rests on cloud migration.
Reductions in operational expenditures, revenue gains and improved customer experience are the primary C-suite motivations for modernization, Infosys reports. Respondents see data analytics, APIs, AI and microservices as key benefits.
The biggest impediment to modernization cited by respondents is talent and the tech talent crunch.
Just over half — 51% — said skills gaps and difficulty retraining and recruiting qualified technologists is hampering modernization efforts. One in four cited operations disruptions and the remaining 24% pointed to modernization costs as the main pain point.
Flexibility and pacing can help companies work around these obstacles. Companies can supplement recruitment efforts by focusing on talent retention, upskilling current workforce, rethinking IT project assignments and building morale.
Turning to gig workers to harness talent is another option IT leaders are exploring, according to the survey.
Approaching the race to the cloud as a marathon rather than a sprint is another key to averting painful disruptions. Large companies budget strategically for modernization, following a clearly drawn roadmap in which two-way data synching integrates new applications with older systems.
Companies that rely on discretionary budgeting and use a “big-bang approach” to modernization are, according to the report, more likely to experience frequent and severe disruptions.