As mainframe modernisation and hybrid cloud adoption takes on increasing importance, IT leaders continue to leave mission-critical mainframe data siloed from cloud applications,.

According to new data by Model9, IT leaders remain fixated on legacy mainframe modernisation methods that involve migrating mainframe applications (61%) or DevOps modernisation (73%).

However, the preference for these methods contradicts their stated most important IT operating strategy factors of creating a single point of data management across hybrid environments (71%) and the ability to access data from any location (51%).

The “Cloud Data Management for Mainframe” report also reveals:

* 62% of enterprise companies surveyed still host at least half of their core business applications on the mainframe;

* 71% of IT leaders believe a single point of data management across hybrid environments is the most important factor guiding hybrid cloud storage strategies; and

* 50% of C-suite respondents said unlocking the business value of stored mainframe data was their number one IT priority for this year.

“IT leaders with mainframes as their core transactional system are pursuing strategies in direct contradiction to their stated objectives,” says Model9 CEO Gil Peleg. “The Cloud Data Management for Mainframe Report shows the C-suite prioritises unlocking the business value of mainframe data.

“To accomplish this, enterprise companies are investing a lot in mainframe DevOps projects and/or considering application migration projects – neither of which provide a quick, safe, and guaranteed pathway to integrating mainframe data with cloud-based AI/ML and analytics.”

The report notes that “there is so much offensive firepower in data, and yet businesses are playing defense”. The data it contains highlights:

* Most enterprise applications still run on the mainframe;

* Companies need a better solution for unlocking the value of mainframe data in the cloud; and

* Focusing on the fastest way to deliver mainframe data to cloud storage where apps can leverage it should be the top strategic priority for IT leaders.

Enterprise IT departments are under more pressure than ever before to turn themselves into value centers. Model9’s report lays out how IT leaders approach the mainframe portion of that challenge and pushes back against some of the commonly accepted narratives about prioritisation and execution of mainframe modernisation and hybrid cloud initiatives.

“Mainframe data is a strategic asset. Companies already know this,” says Peleg. “They also know that the most innovative AI and analytics initiatives are cloud-native. DevOps modernisation may accelerate time to market, but it keeps mainframe data in the mainframe, disconnected from the cloud ecosystem.

“On the other hand, application migration projects are extremely risky and uncertain – something executives often do not want to chance. That’s why the new, data-led approach to mainframe modernization – one that uses software to eliminate the silo around mainframe data without any risk – is clearly needed.”