Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- News: IBM Releases First-Quarter Results. Get IBM i Training.
- Development: The Future of Software Development.
- Modernization: How to Deal with Technical Debt. Is it Modernizing IT, The Business, or Both?
IBM Releases First-Quarter Results
“First quarter results demonstrate that clients continue turning to IBM for their unique combination of an open hybrid cloud platform, enterprise-focused AI, and business expertise to unlock productivity and drive efficiency in their operations.”
- Revenue of $14.3 billion, up 0.4 percent, up 4.4 percent at constant currency
- Software revenue up 3 percent, up 6 percent at constant currency
- Consulting revenue up 3 percent, up 8 percent at constant currency
- Infrastructure revenue down 4 percent, flat at constant currency
“Despite a difficult macroeconomic backdrop and downturn in other conventional operations, the company, which has beaten average revenue estimates for the past five quarters, is anticipated to have earned greater aggregate sales year over year.”
“The IBM i community is gearing up for POWERUp 2023, the annual conference and expo held by COMMON that is taking place next week in Denver, Colorado. While information on the recent IBM i Technology Refreshes will be in demand, the event in the Mile High City will showcase just about everything going on with the ever-popular midrange server.”
Though the early bird special-pricing period has passed, you can still register for POWERUp and get to Denver for the big show. More information and pricing can be found at www.common.org/powerup2023/.
The Future of Software Development
Have you seen the “power behind large language models, ChatGPT and other AI/ML tools?”
“Every ten years or so, there’s a sea change in application software.”
- Mainframe and mid-range solutions gave way to client-server applications.
- Client-server apps gave way to web-based apps, which in turn gave way to cloud applications.
- Hosted cloud applications were (mostly) displaced by multi-tenant or smartphone apps.
These shifts create and decimate application software companies.
So, what will this mean for the IBM i community?
This article dives into the very questions that all industries, everywhere, are asking.
Here are just a few:
- What is the relevance of code?
- Where will apps be built?
- Will AI build software?
- What net-new applications will be built?
One could make the case that IBM i shops that properly leverage AI and ML tools could not only leverage their existing technology stack more cost-effectively and efficiently, but also modernize it.
AI/ML tools can help companies integrate older technologies with newer ones, allowing for a more seamless transition to modern systems.
However, the other side of the argument is that in the changing landscape, there will be resistance by software companies.
“Access to transaction data and the availability of highly useful AI/ML tools will be the new vendor lock-in. We should expect old-school vendors (e.g., ERP vendors) to make the exporting of a customer’s own transaction data very expensive.”
This article has a lot to offer and is a worthwhile read to get you thinking about the future of software development and how jobs and careers will fit into the ever-changing world now that AI is here.
How to Deal with Technical Debt
IT leaders have been dealing “with technical debt for decades, yet many still struggle to adequately manage it and it’s costing them.”
“Tech debt is an expensive inevitability of almost any IT project.”
The responsibility does not fall on any one person or group of people.
All are responsible:
Developers: Software development teams create tech debt when they choose to take shortcuts or make trade-offs during the development process in order to meet short-term goals or deadlines.
Management: Lack of investment by management leads to not having sufficient resources or funding for development. Skipping routine maintenance or upgrades allows debt to accumulate over time, making it more difficult and expensive to maintain and update the software.
Shadow IT: Referring to unmanaged systems typically introduced by individuals outside of IT cause technical debt by introducing security vulnerabilities, integration challenges, data silos, and support and maintenance challenges.
Dealing with technical debt is by far one of the most critical challenges that faces any IT leader from the CIO on down.
The “IT leaders who successfully manage technical debt are far better positioned to enable their organizations to perform better.”
This article offers 5 tips for tackling technical debt.
Is it Modernizing IT, The Business, or Both?
“When the word “modernization” is said in the midrange and mainframe circles, it usually means application modernization or transforming your older RPG and COBOL applications to look and feel like they just came off the Java or C# assembly line. But, there’s another view of modernization that encompasses more than just the apps.”
Modernizing Infrastructure is a key part of IT modernization. In other words, it involves moving to the cloud (private or public) and using VMs and containers.
DevOps is changing how developers do their jobs. It’s also part of modernization.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration and communication between software development teams and IT operations teams. The goal of DevOps is to enable organizations to develop, deploy, and maintain software applications more quickly and reliably by breaking down silos between development and operations teams.
Why is this important?
Because more than anything, what changes in modernization is not just technology (code or infrastructure), but the way we think about code and infrastructure and how they are interconnected.
Changing the way we think is the hard part.
This is why modernization can be so difficult.
This article covers a lot of ground and highlights one of the key challenges of modernization efforts when the business seems to be getting everything they need.
“Business typically just wants to keep running and growing its business, and doesn’t want IT to get in the way. It can be hard to convince business decision-makers that they should invest in IT modernization.”
This brings up an interesting question. Does the business initiate modernization or is technology the driver?
It’s the old case of the chicken or the egg.
It can be argued that both are interdependent and cannot exist without each other.
The business may push for modernization to meet changing market demands or to stay competitive, but technology is needed to enable and support these changes.
Conversely, technology may drive modernization by introducing new capabilities or efficiencies, but it must align with the business’ goals and priorities to be successful.
Ultimately, both business and technology must work together to drive modernization.
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