In brief

In brief

  • While many financial services firms still rely on mainframes for their resilience, mainframes can’t compete with cloud in a disruptive environment.
  • The drawbacks of mainframes in terms of costliness, complexity and a dearth of skilled workers are outweighing their value as a core technology.
  • Firms can gain the benefits of cloud without engaging in a complete cloud migration by modernizing their mainframe environments.
  • Accenture’s 6 R framework creates the right foundation for an effective mainframe modernization journey.


The benefits of cloud technologies along with the law of diminishing returns in mainframe tuning and enhancement is pointing to the need for an inevitable migration away from the mainframe for core functionality and processing.

The good news is firms can modernize their mainframe environment to become more agile and responsive so they can meet customers’ expectations in the current disruptive business environment without engaging in a complete cloud migration.

The path to mainframe modernization

By taking a thoughtful, phased approach to modernizing your mainframe environment, you can overcome common obstacles and enjoy some of the advantages of cloud computing without putting core functionality at risk.

Avoid "big bang" conversions.

Implement phased migrations from existing mainframe IT to microservices to maintain business continuity, information security and uptime.

Identify promising use cases.

Gain critical momentum and credibility by identifying use cases that improve agility and flexibility.

Perform a deep analysis.

To modernize your mainframe environment, you should hollow it out at the core. This involves decision-making around talent, cost, pain points, value delivered and return on investment.

Create the right foundation.

Accenture’s 6 Rs framework (retain, replace, re-host, re-platform, re-factor, re-imagine) allows you to identify the right treatment strategies for your mainframe applications.

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The need for agility and responsiveness is a key motivator behind the strategic imperative to migrate away from the mainframe.

Get the benefits by modernizing your mainframe. Download our point of view to learn more.

Kamran Ikram

Managing Director – Technology Strategy & Advisory


Mike Coates

Manager – Strategy & Consulting

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