- Despite the lure of cloud, more than half of organizations plan to maintain or grow their mainframe footprint, according to Advanced. The software and IT services company surveyed 400 tech decision-makers representing companies with at least one mainframe in use.
- More than two-thirds of respondents believe mainframes will remain critical for large enterprises over the next five years and only 6% said replacement is imminent.
- While enterprises continue to invest in cloud, a division of compute labor has emerged. More than half of organizations prefer cloud for data analytics and reporting applications but want to keep mainframes to run core systems and complex legacy applications.
Annual public cloud services revenue soared past the $500 billion threshold in 2023 even as pressure to optimize cloud spend mounted. IT budget scrutiny, in turn, elevated the prospects of enterprise mainframes, as organizations sought to get the most out of existing tech stacks.
Hard lessons learned from early cloud deployments informed the shift.
After witnessing failed migrations, organizations got choosier about where to run specific workloads, reinvigorating hybrid cloud concepts.
IBM, a cornerstone of the mainframe market, doubled down on its hybrid cloud business last month, announcing the acquisition of Advanced’s mainframe modernization services unit. IBM also deepened its partnership with AWS in November.
The move was prompted by IBM’s AI developments and AWS’s evolving appreciation for hybrid cloud ecosystems, Nick Otto, head of global strategic partnerships at IBM, told CIO Dive at the time.
“We’ve seen AWS developing a much better understanding of the mainframe and why there is a need for different types of compute,” Otto said.
Sourcing mainframe expertise and finding budget for mainframe-focused modernization are hurdles many organizations have yet to overcome, according to Advanced’s survey.
While more than 9 in 10 respondents said they are considering mainframe modernization, organizations allocate just 8% of IT spending to the effort. To overcome talent woes, more than half of organizations are leaning on external expertise from consultants, systems integrators and cloud providers, the survey found.