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More than 70% of CxOs of global companies consider mainframe or legacy modernisation a strategic business priority for the next three years, reveals a survey by Tata Consultancy Services.

The study, conducted in collaboration with AWS, surveyed 211 CxOs and senior decision makers from companies that currently have legacy or mainframe applications. It highlights trends on how companies view the future of legacy and mainframe applications in their digital transformation, bottlenecks and challenges in migrating those applications, and the preference for microservices based technologies.

The report further said that over two-third of the respondents are using mainframe or legacy applications for core business operations and over 60% for customer-facing functions. Top three challenges with legacy systems were integration with new applications (61%), lack of business agility (57%), and security exposure (55%).

The main barriers to migrating legacy systems to the cloud were concerns around security (44%), disruption to operations (37%), and reliability (33%), the survey revealed.

Greater agility to respond to market needs (45%) is a key business objective in driving legacy modernisations, followed by improving application performance / responsiveness (41%), and improving availability / disaster recovery and improving compliance / security (38% each). Re-engineering / redevelopment (33%) is the most preferred approach for legacy modernisation, followed by lift and shift (20%), retain and optimize (19%) and refactor (9%), it added.

Most of the companies that participated in the survey are currently (64%) or planning to (22%) use tools to partially or fully automate modernisation.

“The survey reinforces our own experiences with customers across industries and markets. They are giving the highest priority to legacy and mainframe modernisation in their digital transformation programs, especially during the pandemic,” TCS MasterCraft Business Head Vijayalakshmi Gopal said.

Enterprises are looking for partners who can help mitigate the risks of disruption and deliver high quality outcomes with speed to market. 

The survey conducted by IDG Research, polled respondents with a title of Director or above, from companies across industries, ranging from mid-sized (1,000+ employees) to large (10,000+ employees).

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