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Researchers talk about … COBOL?

In the “I can’t believe these stats” department, Micro Focus commissioned a report looking at COBOL usage. Yes, COBOL.   This year’s results of the apparently annual survey show COBOL use has increased… and points to continued increases, with half of the survey respondents expecting to use more.   

92 percent of respondents stated that their organizations’ COBOL applications are strategic with future IT strategy and application portfolio alignment

Modernization of COBOL applications is the preferred path forward: As opposed to a rip and replace approach, 64 percent of respondents intend to modernize their COBOL applications, and 72 percent of respondents see modernization as an overall business strategy.

When asked about their company’s plans for COBOL and the cloud in 2021, 43 percent of the survey’s respondents stated that their COBOL applications do and will support the cloud by the end of the year. In addition, 41 percent noted that new business projects require integration with existing COBOL systems.

Why do we care?

Were you expecting COBOL to be viewed as strategic?     I wasn’t.   

So modernization of those systems is the approach, and all of this screams of specialized opportunity.    Hard things make good money.    Now, are we producing enough COBOL programmers for this?  I do wonder.

Let COBOL and the cloud sink in there, too – organizations will be pulling forward and investing in those legacy applications and cloud-enabling them, and 43% are doing it this year.   Cloud as inevitable is the message.