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ISG to Publish Reports on Mainframe Services and Solutions

 Upcoming ISG Provider Lens™ reports will evaluate providers helping enterprises and U.S. public sector agencies modernize legacy applications to meet current needs

Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, has launched a research study examining service providers that enable enterprises and U.S. public sector organizations to migrate or adapt mainframe applications for agility, modernization and cost reduction.

The study results on enterprise mainframe products and services will be published in a comprehensive ISG Provider Lens™ report, called Mainframes — Services and Solutions 2023, scheduled to be released in March 2023. The report will cover companies offering mainframe platform and application modernization, mainframe operations and mainframe as a service (MFaaS). At the same time, ISG will publish the U.S. Public Sector Mainframes — Services and Solutions 2023 report, covering providers with experience in delivering mainframe modernization to state, local, municipal and educational entities in the U.S.

Buyers at enterprises and public agencies will be able to use information from the reports to evaluate their current vendor relationships, potential new engagements and available offerings, while ISG advisors use the information to recommend providers to the firm’s buy-side clients.

Mainframe systems and applications that have served many organizations for decades are proving inadequate to new requirements for enterprise agility and for improved and expanded government services. Some companies and public agencies are using automated tools to transform legacy applications to new ones in the cloud with standardized application languages and databases. Others outsource the applications to service providers to run them on cloud-like mainframe data centers on-site or in remote locations, often on a pay-as-you-go basis in MFaaS engagements.

“With the current pace of advancement in applications and user expectations, mainframes are too complex and slow to change,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Providers offer multiple ways to bring familiar mainframe applications into the modern age without losing any functionality.”

For the mainframe services and solutions study, ISG has distributed surveys to more than 120 mainframe product and service providers. Working in collaboration with ISG’s global advisors, the research team will produce five quadrants representing the mainframe services and solutions the typical enterprise is buying, based on ISG’s experience working with its clients. The five quadrants are:

  • Mainframe Modernization Services, evaluating providers of mainframe application modernization, which retains the original programming language and allows clients to embrace agile methodologies for development and maintenance of applications running on mainframe systems.
  • Mainframe Application Modernization and Transformation Services, covering providers of services for assessing and rewriting applications in legacy programming languages. Capabilities include automation of code writing, data conversion, database migration and cloud migration.
  • Mainframe as a Service (MFaaS), assessing infrastructure services providers that offer shared IBM mainframes on a pay-per-use basis. The services include all components of the infrastructure, along with maintenance services to ensure workloads perform according to pre-established metrics.
  • Mainframe Operations, evaluating traditional outsourcing providers with experience in mainframe services, which may be delivered in the client’s data center, provider-owned data centers or colocation facilities.
  • Mainframe Application Modernization Software, covering vendors of software and toolsets for assessing and converting mainframe applications. Modernization software may include automation tools for reverse engineering, business rules extraction, code review, inspection and other functions.

Geographically focused reports from the study will cover the global mainframe services and solutions market and examine products and services available in the U.S., Europe and Brazil.

A list of identified providers and vendors and further details on the mainframe services and solutions study are available in this digital brochure.

For the U.S. public sector study, ISG has distributed surveys to more than 50 providers with experience serving U.S. public agencies. ISG will evaluate the providers in four quadrants:

  • Mainframe Modernization Services, assessing providers of legacy application modernization. Services include the introduction of DevOps integration and testing automation, security testing and code repositories such as GitHub, while retaining the original programming language.
  • Mainframe Application Modernization and Transformation Services, evaluating service providers that use newer application methodologies for mainframe application development and maintenance. They assess and rewrite legacy applications using newer target languages such as Java, .Net, C# and Python.
  • Mainframe as a Service (MFaaS), covering providers of shared IBM Z mainframes hosted in a data center operated by the provider or a partner. Clients contract for the services on a pay-per-use basis with agreed-upon standards for application performance.
  • Mainframe Operations, evaluating outsourcing providers with skilled teams to keep clients’ mainframes running. They can provide services in the client’s or the provider’s data center. Services typically include job scheduling, performance optimization, security patches and other functions.

A list of identified providers and vendors and further details on the public sector study are available in this digital brochure.

Providers not listed in either brochure can contact ISG and ask to be included in the study.

ISG analysts Peter Crocker, Bruce Guptill, Pedro L. Bicudo Maschio, Oliver Nickels, Manoj M and Tishya Selvaraj will serve as authors of the reports.

All ISG Provider Lens™ evaluations feature new and expanded customer experience (CX) data that measures actual enterprise experience with specific provider services and solutions, based on ISG’s continuous CX research. Enterprise customers wishing to share their experience about a specific provider or vendor are encouraged to register here to receive a personalized survey URL. Participants will receive a copy of this report in return for their feedback.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, the Nordics, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 800 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit


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