Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- News: End of support for some of the POWER7’s. IBM’s Sterling Supply Chain Suite – more than just EDI.
- AI: What you need to know about IBM’s Enterprise AI solutions. IBM speeds up video recognition with AI.
- Career: Are you looking to retire soon? Here is something to think about. Have you wobbled in your career?
- Development: LANSA and its low-code solution. Low-code is catching on. Will it impact you?
- Modernization: The past and the future of the IT Enterprise. How do we move forward?
- Trends: IoT is making a big impact on manufacturing. But, it is useless without proper data and analysis.
If you have not heard, first-generation POWER7 hardware support ended on September 30, 2019. Additional POWER7 models will also not be supported come December 31, 2020.
EDI has come a long way. It has been the tried and true way for B2B commerce to take place. EDI solutions such as Extol (now Cleo) and Sterlings Gentran have dominated the AS/400 and IBM i market for a long time.
While Gentran focuses on one need, “the translation of inbound and outbound B2B files and messages”, IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite is much more than that.
- Supply Chain Visibility
- Order Management
- B2B Collaboration
It’s a big deal because this suite of products is tapping into Watson AI, IBM Blockchain as well as IoT.
With this launch, IBM is delivering a secured, open platform with hybrid-cloud support that enables organizations to integrate their own data and networks – and the data and networks of their suppliers and customers – with the Sterling Supply Chain Suite.
Why is this important: It shows where AI can fit into the IBM i ecosystem.
Are you one to put all of your eggs in one basket?
There seems to be a resurgence with IBM’s stock. With the purchase of Red Hat and other initiatives combined with IBM’s low P/E showing declining earnings in the past 5 years, some analysts see a resurgence ahead.
A Smart Way To Modernize
We have high-value RPG Consultants who have expertise in building API’s, web services, and open source solutions so you can extend the reach of your AS/400 applications.
If you are at all interested in understanding how you could apply AI to your enterprise here is some hefty reading (IBM Redbook) that will get you started. If you don’t think AI has a place in your company, think again.
When we talk about AI, much of it for us, in the IBM i community, revolves around business and enterprise applications.
Let’s not forget that the lines are blurred between enterprise business systems and mobile devices.
Watson AI has stepped up its game using ML to interpret the content in videos. ML is getting faster and faster with a smaller footprint.
This allows for video recognition to be run on mobile devices. Thus, AI is becoming accessible to anyone.
Looking ahead: Think about how this can be applied to manufacturing or supply chain? Instead of running AI in the cloud now it can be run on the device itself. It’s a game-changer.
We often talk about the RPG Developers who are retiring. The concern is, how do we find developers to fill their shoes. Here is a simple RPG training solution.
A different perspective: If you are an RPG Developer that is looking to retire, what’s next? I find that many RPG Developers continue to work side RPG contracts that allow them to step into retirement but also remain engaged and fulfilled in retirement.
If you fall into this category, we work with RPG developers all of the time who are looking for side or part-time projects. If this is you, schedule a call with us.
As this article points out there are some things you should consider before or as you step into retirement.
Do you have a gap in your resume? Maybe you have a couple of short stints that make you look like a job hopper?
There is much to be said of crafting your resume to bring attention to the bright spots in your career but don’t overlook the times where you had to pivot or change course.
The way I look at it, if you have not failed then you have not had any success. Success comes from failure.
Own the failures or “wobbles” in your resume and be ready to talk about them during the interview process.
Do you think AI is going to take your job away? It’s true that a lot of the things we do at work or even at home will be automated by technology.
The good news is, our ability to interact as humans will be our greatest strength.
In other words, we’re still uniquely placed to reach deep insight and connection with fellow humans and to display wisdom and innovation in situations where there is no right answer.
Technological advances of the future will require us to pivot and to focus on how to become more skilled at how we manage ourselves in interacting with co-workers.
When we take away the tasks that can be automated, the focus will be on the things in-between. Or, the times when there is not a clear cut answer.
Low-code is becoming a sensible solution for a lot of IBM i shops. LANSA has been around for a long time and has a strong following.
As the push to Modernize continues, we are going to see more and more players in the low-code arena.
Here is yet another low-code development platform. Keep in mind this does not take away the need for core RPG applications. If anything it makes it more important. It simply allows you to extend the reach of your existing RPG and IBM i applications.
It might make you ask, are coding skills really necessary?
There is no question, the future of code is changing and understanding how it might fit into your organization is a good thing to think about.
But don’t worry, there will always be a need for coding.
Monoliths, Microservices, And IBM i Modernization
Getting your head around Modernization is hard. Where do you start?
With all the talk about Digital Transformation, where does IT Modernization fit?
IT Modernization is necessary to support Digital Transformation. And Digital Transformation is what will get you to Business Transformation.
What is the difference between IT Modernization and Digital Transformation?
- IT Modernization is often referred to as updating legacy systems in order to support digital technologies.
- Digital Transformation, is the move to integrate and implement AI, IoT, Blockchain and other emerging solutions into the enterprise.
Manufacturing is alive and well. Part of the reason for its growth is the use of digital technologies.
The impact of AI, ML, and IoT, is easy to see in Manufacturing. But all of this does not work unless you have a data strategy.
IoT sensors allow you to use data to: predict future outcomes.
Prior to IoT when machines stopped working, the production line was halted so technicians could make repairs, often disrupting workflow.
IoT allows you to implement a predictive maintenance model to eliminate downtime that would impact production. As this chart points out, only about 18% of manufacturing organizations in this study are not considering IoT at all.
82% of companies in this survey have either fully implemented IoT, are rolling it out, piloting, or experimenting with it.
But it is important to point out that:
IoT systems don’t work unless there is a data management and analysis strategy to do something with the vast amounts of data collected by the sensors.
Why is this important: This is where the RPG developer comes in.
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