SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ava Smith, Scott Bampton, Elizabeth White, Glenn Rossman, Pat Romanski

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CIOs Believe Green Screen Systems Hamper Retention and Recruitment, Global Study Reveals

98% Claim New Features Would Enhance Productivity, but Many Think Modernization Is Too Difficult

NEWBURY, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 02/05/14 -- While 93% of organizations today still use green screen applications(1), 54% of CIOs say working with them is negatively impacting end user retention and recruitment. That's according to an independent global research study undertaken by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L).

Of the 590 CIOs and IT directors polled from nine countries around the globe, a staggering 89% have had complaints from end users about aspects of their green screen applications, with nearly two thirds (65%) claiming end users feel bored, frustrated, ambivalent or restricted when using these applications. IT leaders themselves appear to agree, with 55% believing green screen applications do not do a good job.

Barriers to modernization
Research respondents cited a number of barriers that prevent them from tackling the green screen challenge to modernize their applications.

  • Skills deficit: Despite the negative impact on end user retention, 24% of respondents said they do not have the requisite skills in-house to change these applications. 45% reported difficulty hiring new employees who either have prior knowledge of green screen applications or are able to learn them quickly.

  • The role of IT: 72% of respondents said that non-IT people within their organization do not base their opinion of IT innovation on updating legacy applications. They believe 42% of non-IT people judge innovation on unusual or gimmicky applications and widgets, opting for novelty over legacy. Despite 61% of CIOs believing their IT organization's innovation role is integral to the business, 50% said their non-IT people do not see the IT department in an innovative light. Instead, respondents claim more than a third (36%) see it as a support for the organization and 13% view it as merely a maintenance function.

  • Technical difficulties: More than half (56%) of CIOs believe it would be technically difficult to update the user interface and experience of green screen applications.

  • Cost and risk: 43% of IT leaders think it is too expensive to upgrade, while over a third (34%) say it is too risky to contemplate.

The productivity opportunity

Almost all survey respondents (98%) believe there would be a positive impact on productivity by adding new capabilities to green screen applications. Access to internal or external websites, including an intranet, Google Maps or YellowPages, was indicated as the most impactful (55%), while mobile access to green screen applications is believed to increase productivity by 41% of CIOs.

Additional findings

  • Around half of respondents (51%) feel that too much time and budget is spent on end user training for green screen applications

  • If they were to upgrade their green screen applications, respondents confirmed the most important functionality factors would be:

    • Integration with common software packages like Microsoft Excel, Skype and other VoIP systems, Google Maps, SAP and Salesforce (71%)

    • Productivity enhancements such as pop-up calendars, dropdown menus, tool tips, hyperlinks, in line help and graphs (65%)

    • Mobile access to green screen applications (49%)

    • Modern, fresh and user friendly interface through browser technology (47%)

Commenting on the research results, Derek Britton, Director of Product Marketing at Micro Focus said: "Today's end-user expects mobility, efficiency and simplicity from their business applications, and the same experience on any device, whenever, wherever. The accepted wisdom is that you cannot provide this from green screen systems -- but that isn't true."

"It is possible to both quickly and cheaply modernize green screen systems, delivering new features that take advantage of Windows, the internet and mobile devices, without any application code change or disruption to the end user community. Our Rumba solution delivers exactly that. This means the intellectual property inherent in green screen applications remains intact to deliver even greater competitive advantage," concluded Britton.

Notes to Editors
The independent research survey was undertaken by Vanson Bourne in December 2013. It covered 590 IT decision makers in nine countries including UK (100), France (100), Germany (100), USA (100), Brazil (100), Australia (35), New Zealand (15), Hong Kong (15) and Singapore (25). The respondents were from mainframe organizations with 501+ employees, covering multiple industry sectors.

To download an overview of the research, please click here: http://www.microfocus.com/_ex/external/files/vanson-bourne-green-screen-research.pdf.

About Micro Focus

Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization, Testing and Management software enables customers' business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk. For additional information please visit www.microfocus.com.

Follow Micro Focus on twitter | linkedin| community.

(1) Green screen is the name the IT industry gives 3270 terminal access to core systems. It is the old single colour interface used to access mainframe systems for a vast number of major businesses worldwide.

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