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Legacy application causing regulatory confusion

Ensuring that mainframe based applications comply with regulations is proving a real headache for financial services firms

More than a third of global financial services organisations are finding it difficult to comply with regulatory requirements due to the complexity of their legacy application infrastructure, according to a new survey.

But an already tricky situation is being made worse by the fact that 91.7 per cent of such enterprises have little or no understanding of the functionality and code base of which their mainly mainframe-based business applications comprise.

Billy Hamilton-Stent, a director at Loudhouse Research, which undertook the study on behalf of Hal Knowledge Solutions, said, “The more IT organisations are asked to do in compliance and IT governance terms, the more they need to know what is happening in the application itself”.

This lack of understanding of legacy code is making IT governance impossible for 59 per cent of the 60 companies questioned because of the costs involved in “getting visibility and going through files” on older systems.

For a further 60 per cent, it is leading to challenges when trying to deal with regulatory compliance issues, and making auditing unfeasible for another 65 per cent.

“It’s important for organisations to have a strategic approach to understanding their IT architectures so they can respond to business change more effectively,” added Hamilton-Stent.