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Lack of skills could be damaging legacy IT

(Image credit: Image Credit: Rawpixel / Shutterstock)

Businesses that rely on critical mainframe IT systems are faced with a “skills crisis”, a new report by LzLabs and Vanson Bourne suggests. The report claims that all organisations (99 per cent) consider their mainframe applications critical to business operations, yet more than nine in ten (93 per cent) worry about the impending skills crisis.

This skills crisis is most present in two ways: supporting mainframe applications (49 per cent) and operating the platform itself (48 per cent). For most businesses, not having properly skilled workers to handle their mainframe could potentially put them out of business.

“Our findings in last year’s survey highlighted the frustration IT leaders have with the cost and inflexibility of their mainframe applications,” said Thilo Rockmann, Chairman and COO of LzLabs.

“What we are seeing in this year’s is a realisation that the loss of mainframe skills poses a significant threat in the coming years, and piecemeal approaches will not be enough to solve this” he continued.

The report also says that organisations are looking to move mission-critical mainframe applications to the cloud, thus mitigating the skills loss. They’re saying the mainframe is stifling innovation, and that containerised testing is the future.

Most of the respondents see cloud elasticity, as well as greater development agility as the two biggest strengths of the cloud.

“These findings show that efforts to upskill existing staff, or attract new talent to legacy platforms, simply aren’t enough to solve this crisis. Now is the time for organisations to move their core applications to modern, open systems and reap the benefits” said Mark Cresswell, CEO of LzLabs.