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US companies are slow to adopt external tools for their cloud migrations, according to a report published by NASDAQ-listed global technology research company Information Services Group (ISG).
The report identified 26 mainframe migration service providers and 17 tools vendors, with each provider reporting 15 to 30 projects per year. The projects have an average length of more than 18 months, with large transformations taking five years.
“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,” commented Dave Goodman, director of cloud and software advisory at ISG.
According to ISG, a lack of awareness and a shortage of qualified experts were among the reasons for slow adoption.
The report, however, suggests strong growth in cloud migration projects in the coming years as large cloud providers acquire and promote new tools.
“ISG expects the number and size of migration projects to significantly in the next three years,” said Bernie Hoecker, partner, enterprise cloud at ISG, citing the three major cloud providers as front-runners in accelerating cloud adoption.
“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.”
The report also highlights leading mainframe service providers based on the evaluation of their capabilities across five quadrants: mainframe modernisation, mainframe application modernisation and transformation services, mainframe as a service (MFaaS), mainframe operations, and mainframe application modernisation software.
Atos was named as a leader in four quadrants, with Capgemini, Esono, Infosys, Kyndryl and TCS also positioned as leaders in three.
HCL and Wipro also gained recognition in two quadrants each.
Accenture, Advanced, Astadia, AWS (Blu Age), Cognizant, Google, Heirloom Computing, Mindtree, Mphasis, Tech Mahindra, TMaxSoft and TSRI were named as leaders in one quadrant each.
Canada and Europe also look to mainframe migration
The report states that cloud migrations in Canada have accelerated despite the availability of fewer service providers. Companies are also looking into mainframe as a service (MFaaS), enabling them to replace traditional mainframe outsourcing with shared mainframe infrastructure at a lower cost.
Europe has also begun migrating to cloud services, with top providers cooperating with local tool vendors for project execution. However, the report highlights clients’ scepticism regarding the benefit of COBOL modernisation, slowing the adoption of new mainframe tools.
Like the US, despite mainframe services in Europe recording an average increase of more than 20percent in revenue, the migration completion is projected to take another 10 years. According to the research, the average project duration currently takes more than 18 months, while some large transformation projects can take up to five years.
Migration services provider make their move as legacy tech providers adapt
Companies are starting to consider modernising their legacy systems following the disruption to their services highlighted by the global pandemic. The increasing operational costs of mainframe systems and limited availability of skills related to legacy systems have further incited the need for migration to cloud services.
Recognising the growing market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) last year unveiled its mainframe modernisation service aimed at supporting large enterprises to switch to cloud services. In March this year, Verizon Connect migrated its fleet management software platform Verizon Connect Reveal to AWS.
In Europe, Belgian-German digital imaging products manufacturer Afga Gevaert Group secured the services of Atos to execute its digital transformation journey.
As the switch to cloud services slowly gains traction, legacy technology providers like IBM have adapted their services to provide hybrid cloud computing.
On 5 April, IBM unveiled its new mainframe IBM z16, the latest in its Z-series mainframe, set to be available in May. The IBM z16 uses on-chip AI inferencing and quantum-safe technologies to provide real-time transaction analysis and robust cybersecurity.
IBM spin-off Kyndryl is also collaborating with its IT server supplier Lenovo to develop scalable hybrid cloud solutions for its clients.
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