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NTT DATA Report Signals a Paradigm Shift as Banks Finally Migrate from Mainframes to AI-driven Cloud Technologies

NTT DATA, a global digital business and IT services leader, today announced a new global banking research report entitled "The Digital Horizon: Banking’s Shift from Mainframe to AI-Driven Cloud Infrastructure.” The research has unveiled findings from a survey of 650 global banking decision-makers, marking a definitive shift in the sector towards agile and customer-focused banking. Moreover, the survey uncovers a transformative trend: banks are finally pivoting from entrenched mainframe systems to adopt AI and cloud technologies, spurred by the multiple headwinds they face of consumer demands, innovative new market disruption, and the competitive pressures of innovative technological advancements.

Modernisation and Transformation Trends:

  • Enduring Mainframes: Despite 89% of banking leaders identifying as innovators, 63% still operate on mainframe systems, confirming the mainframe’s resilience.
  • Cloud Migration to Increase from Generative AI injection: 63% of banking decision-makers confirm generative AI is decisively facilitating the transition of banking applications to the cloud
  • Generative AI Gaining Board-Level Support: A resounding 91% report their AI and cloud initiatives are endorsed by the board, signalling strategic prioritisation.
  • Navigating Skill Gaps: With 80% lacking a strategic framework for generative AI adoption, the need for upskilling is evident.
  • 45% of banks are already integrating generative AI technology into their technology stacks while a further 30% are in the early stages of looking at it.
  • Cloud as an Innovation Enabler: Flexibility and scalability are cited by 36% of respondents as key drivers for cloud migration, indicating a shift beyond cost concerns.

The enduring stronghold of mainframes in the banking sector is poised for a significant shift, thanks to the integration of generative AI into cloud migration strategies. NTT DATA's research reveals that 63% of banking decision-makers confirm generative AI is decisively facilitating the transition of banking applications to the cloud, indicating a transformative phase where mainframes’ resilience meets the agility of cloud computing.

25% of respondents also acknowledge a growing trend in cloud migration, propelled by AI advancements. This heralds a new era where the collaboration between AI’s potential to reinterpret legacy code and cloud technology's scalability is accelerating modernisation and transformation initiatives, suggesting that the longstanding reign of mainframes is approaching its horizon.

Kaz Nishihata, Director and Senior Executive Vice President at NTT DATA Group Corporation, commented: "Banks are not only evolving technologically but also culturally. The industry’s rapid adoption of AI and cloud is redefining business models and establishing a new norm in sector leadership. This technological tide is propelling banks toward a more intimate understanding of customer needs, delivering services that are faster, more secure, and uniquely tailored."

The research also found that the banking industry is rapidly embracing the transformative power of generative AI, with 45% of banks already incorporating it into their operations. Additionally, 30% are exploring its potential, signalling a proactive shift towards innovation. This adoption underscores the sector's commitment to future-proofing services and the desire for organisations to enhance their competitive edge in a fast-evolving digital landscape.

Nishihata adds, “The momentum for generative AI across the banking sector is a testament to the industry’s resolve to move beyond traditional mainframes, leveraging cloud environments to fortify security, enhance robustness, innovate, and boldly redefine. This transition promises a new era of innovation.”

To read the full report, visit "The Digital Horizon: Banking’s Shift from Mainframe to AI-Driven Cloud Infrastructure"

About the research

NTT DATA's survey canvasses a diverse array of banking professionals, from all global banking markets, and provides a 360-degree perspective on the sector's modernisation and journey towards innovation and transformation.

Demographics of Respondents:

  • Global Insights: Leaders from a broad geographic spectrum, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and Brazil.
  • Institutional Scope: A cross-section from multinational banks to local banking institutions.
  • Expertise Range: Perspectives across IT, Operations, Innovation, and Strategy.

About NTT DATA

NTT DATA – a part of NTT Group – is a trusted global innovator of IT and business services headquartered in Tokyo. We help clients transform through consulting, industry solutions, business process services, IT modernisation and managed services. NTT DATA enables clients, as well as society, to move confidently into the digital future. We are committed to our clients’ long-term success and combine global reach with local client attention to serve them in over 50 countries. Visit us at nttdata.com.

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