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Legacy lost in Web 2.0 hype, survey finds

Core business applications are important to companies. But IT hiring priorities are skewed toward Web 2.0 developers, potentially leaving modernization of mission-critical applications in jeopardy, a survey released this week reveals. This is a “ticking time bomb” for IT, the survey sponsor argues.

Sixty percent of CFOs in the U.S. and Europe told researchers that modernizing core business applications was a top priority, according to results from a survey sponsored by Micro Focus. But only 13 percent said they had skilled developers available to do that job.

“Many of these organizations are focusing on IT skills for newer Web 2.0 technologies at the expense of the crucial skill-sets required to future-proof the core systems that are most business-critical to the successful execution of operations,” according to a report on the survey of 450 companies with revenues from $100m up to over $1bn.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Micro Focus, said companies need to re-focus on recruiting IT professionals with the skills to maintain and modernize core business applications.

The research done for Micro Focus by Vanson Bourne found “lack of a drive to recruit specialists in technologies which typically form the bulk of core IT assets (e.g. COBOL, PL1, CICS). Less than a third of CIOs (29%) polled believed their organization was recruiting enough of these professionals, even though they state they recognize the value that these assets bring to their businesses. Only one in six (16%) CIOs have any confidence that the right recruitment strategies for the vital skills and knowledge required to maintain core IT assets are in place.

“Failure to safeguard these assets is tantamount to a ticking time bomb for global business, Kelly said. “Organizations must quickly adjust their IT investment strategies to deal with recession realities. Everybody knows that Web 2.0 solutions have huge potential to transform all types and sizes of organizations but their development shouldn’t be at the expense of protecting and developing the IT assets at the heart of the business.”

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