Organisations 'concerned' about legacy platform skills drain

A survey has found that 96 per cent of respondents working for financial businesses are concerned that the excitement around cloud computing and SaaS means they will not be able to retain the necessary skills to operate and maintain legacy environments such as IBM mainframe or AS/400.

The poll by Shoden Data Systems surveyed 100 senior IT decision makers in end-user companies spanning the financial, manufacturing, retail, distribution, transport and utilities industries.

The concern level is still very high in the manufacturing sector, with 88 per cent of IT decision makers admitting to being concerned, while across all the markets polled, the average comes in at 83 per cent. The retail, distribution and transport sectors come in just a little lower at 80 per cent.

“IT professionals who learned their mainframe skills thirty years ago are now close to retirement, and converting from a legacy environment such as mainframe to other platforms such as Windows and Unix is time-consuming and costly,” says John Taffinder, CEO of Shoden Data Systems. “In the mainframe community, there is also a lingering lack of confidence in the broader systems management capabilities of other platforms, because for more than 20 years, mainframes have been providing reliability, serviceability, and availability - features that alternatives such as Linux, Unix, and Windows are still struggling to match.”

Financial and manufacturing organisations have been around for a long time, and therefore were among the earliest adopters of IT, Taffinder continues: “Twenty or 30 years ago, mainframe and AS/400 were the default platforms and as a result the investment and reliance on IT by these companies is very high. Also, mainframe technology still offers proven levels of data protection, integrity, and security that financial organisations are worried they won’t achieve with other platforms.”

Related news:
Mainframe skills shortage looms, claims survey

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