Recent research suggests that poor data strategy is negatively impacting innovation and collaboration among large enterprises

New research has revealed that outdated IT systems, and the siloed data sets that they create, are holding businesses back from reaching their digital potential and are costing the UK and US economies $140billion as a result. Mainframes, which often run applications that are outdated and prevent integration with modern cloud-based programmes, sit at the heart of this problem for many large businesses and stand in the way of their success in the new digital economy.

The research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of SnapLogic and surveyed 500 senior IT decision-makers in the US and the UK, found that 76% of respondents have data trapped in legacy systems that cannot be accessed or linked to cloud service. Moreover, 47% of organisations reported that poor internal data-sharing practices are negatively impacting their ability to innovate and create new products and services.

Without access to the right data, innovation and collaboration can be disrupted, resulting in longer lead times in product development and slower progress to market. Alternatively, those organisations that do move to more advanced, cloud-based solutions may find themselves with an advantage over their competitors, with a better data strategy accelerating product or service development and reducing time to market.

This research is another clear demonstration of how important it is for enterprises to begin moving away from legacy mainframe technology to more advanced solutions that are more compatible with the new breed of digital services. Although mainframes have been the bedrock of countless companies for decades, their utility is drawing to a close and, ultimately, the data siloes they create can be particularly damaging.

The maintenance costs of mainframes alone should be incentive enough for businesses to find a way off of them, and that is without factoring in the opportunity costs of not being able to take advantage of things like cloud and big data. And whereas moving off of the mainframe was once fraught with risks and demanded a considerable amount of legwork, that’s no longer the case. Businesses now have the option of re-hosting their mainframes in a new environment without having to change their programmes and applications or rewriting thousands, even millions, of lines of code.

Every business needs to prepare for the digital transformation. This means implementing IT infrastructure that enables the next wave of application development, improves performance of existing programmes and applications and is future-proofed to accelerate innovation and collaboration. Organisations that use technology to maximise their critical data will find themselves well positioned to transition to the digital economy, improving product development, service provision and time to market. Those that don’t will quickly see themselves left behind.