‘Greying workforce’ threatens mainframe future in 66% of UK businesses

A "greying workforce" and difficulty hiring new employees means UK businesses are struggling to keep mainframe systems staffed, according to research.

A "greying workforce" and difficulty hiring new employees means UK businesses are struggling to keep mainframe systems staffed, according to research.

The survey of 300 IT decision makers by CA Technologies suggests that 66% of UK organisations running on mainframes face problems in keeping mission-critical systems staffed, making the mainframe a less viable option for the future. This is 22% above the survey average for European countries.

"Despite the fact organisations are recommitting to the mainframe in ever increasing numbers, it is a well-known fact that the available pool of skilled mainframe professionals is shrinking," said Dayton Semerjian, general manager of mainframe at CA Technologies.

"The people who work with mainframes tend to be the same ones who worked on them 30 years ago. The study concluded that 66% of IT organisations grappling with staffing issues created by the greying workforce and difficulty in hiring new staff are concerned that these challenges will make the mainframe less viable in the future," he said.

"In fact, the survey indicates that the most pressing issues facing European organisations in the next 12 months are an increased demand for training."

The survey also found 94% of UK organisations said the mainframe is important in its company's IT strategy, while 81% said the mainframe is essential to its cloud computing strategy.

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