Survey: Feds say they are modernizing mainframes; no clouds yet

Three out of four federal IT managers in an informal survey say modernization is in their 2011 budget plans.

I just posted a report that said the US Secret Service is still running its operations on 1980s mainframes. The Secret Service does see modernization as a priority, and overall, it appears that most federal agencies are working toward modernizing their mainframe systems.

An informal survey by Micro Focus -- a vendor with a serious stake in mainframe modernization -- finds at least 72% of federal IT managers say that they are planning to build application modernization into their budgets within the next six months to two years. About 40% plan to budget for modernization within six months to one year.

Micro Focus also found that despite the recent buzz around cloud computing, only six percent of those surveyed stated that they planned to adopt cloud computing as part of their modernization efforts. The top modernization objective cited by respondents was to move to Web-enabled systems (54%), with Windows cited as their systems’ most likely platform (38%) after modernization.

Long-term cost savings was noted as the most important benefit of modernization, with ease-of-use a close second. A respondent from the General Services Administration, for example, notes that business requirements are one of their organization’s most important motivators for application modernization, and that they are planning to budget for this effort within six months. GSA’s end objective is to take advantage of various open source tools.