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Majority of Businesses Fail to Complete Legacy System Modernization Projects


Nearly three quarters of organizations (74%) have started a legacy system modernization project but failed to complete it.

This is according to new global research from Advanced, which suggests one of the largest obstacles to a successful modernization project is a disconnect of priorities between technical and leadership teams.

The IT services provider’s 2020 Mainframe Modernization Business Barometer surveyed business and technology employees working for large enterprises with a minimum annual turnover of $1 billion across Europe and the United States.

The research finds that CIOs and Heads of IT are more interested in the technology landscape of their organisation as a whole, whereas Enterprise Architects are more internally focused. More than two-thirds (69%) of enterprise architects cite hardware dependency and other technical influences as the primary reason to modernise whereas CIOs and Heads of IT cite business competitiveness (65%), security (58%) and integration (54%).

Despite the apparent business benefits of modernising, there is a significant disconnect between the desire for technical teams to pursue these projects and the level of commitment they receive from broader leadership teams. Only 12% of application and infrastructure managers report receiving full funding commitment from leadership teams for modernisation projects – and 56% say this failure to get funding is driven by fear of change.

“Collaboration is absolutely essential to successful modernisation,” said Brandon Edenfield, Managing Director of Application Modernisation at Advanced. “To achieve this, technical teams must ensure that senior leadership see the value and broader business impact of these efforts in terms they can understand. Without full commitment and buy-in from the C-Suite, these projects run the risk of complete failure.”

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