Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- Feature: It’s never too late to start training RPG Developers.
- AI: The best approach for AI.
- Blockchain: Walmart with legacy systems, is pushing forward with Blockchain solutions.
- Career: DevOps is a smart career move. Many IBM i professionals already have this skill and might not know about it.
- Development: The future of IBM i on a chart. Check out Travis CI for open source projects on POWER Systems.
- Leadership: A guide to organizational transformation. Do you know what TechQuilibirum is?
- Modernization: Three things you need to know about IT Modernization.
Training the future RPG Developer
Widen the hiring pool, re-skill, and train to fill the IBM i skills gap
As we covered before, the skills gap is not isolated to the IBM i community. It is in every industry.
Baby boomers are retiring and combine this with the advancement of technology and most industries end up struggling to find talent.
Let’s break it down.
There is a:
- Skills gap. The difference between the skills employers need and what is available in the market.
- Skills miss-match. The skills an individual has compared to what companies are looking for. This is a result of the adoption of new technology that changes how work is done which leads to the need for training or re-skilling.
- Training gap. Lack of training resources, time or a framework necessary to bring developers up to speed on new technology.
IBMs CEO states that the future is Linux, containers, and Kubernetes which is why IBM “acquired Red Hat, a leader in open source but also a leader in those standards in those projects.”
As we shared before, Jesse Gorsinski, Business Architect of Open Source for IBM i at IBM, noted: “this is an open-source revolution” on the IBM i.
What holds open-source, modernization, and digital transformation projects back is the lack of knowledge and the right skills.
The IBM i is not the AS/400 of the past. The skills needed for the future of the IBM i will be some of the same but also very different than we have seen before.
The only way to solve the skills shortage (miss-match) is through training.
Solutions: There needs to be a bridge to close the training gap. The pool from which companies recruit from needs to expand. One way is to hire and train RPG developers from within. Another way that IBM is helping is through P-Tech.
The IBM i is one of the most capable, secure and robust platforms for the enterprise. Combine it with AI, ML, API platforms, Blockchain and IoT and you have a business system that will be at the center of your organizations’ digital transformation.
This can only happen if the IBM i community keeps working out.
At a recent Gartner Symposium Panel, lead by Kimberly Storin, VP of Worldwide Marketing for IBM Cognitive Systems, a group of AI technologists discuss the value for enterprises to start on-premis AI projects. They are
seeing a strong correlation between organizations with highly dedicated on-premise AI capabilities to high performance, measurable ROI and less failure.
Furthermore, they outline the three key elements for AI projects to be successful. Selecting the right business problem, the need for collaboration and the framework in place to be able to repeat and scale for future success.
Organizations like Walmart are moving forward with Blockchain for tracking freight and payments with their vendors. The blockchain solution they are using from DLT Labs bridges the data silos between legacy systems via API’s. Here is yet another example where organizations can leverage their legacy systems and push forward with digital transformation.
“DevOps skills are more in demand than any other IT-related skill, even surpassing cloud and data science skills. Close to two-thirds of respondents, 64%, indicated that DevOps is the most sought-after skill, above cloud certifications, machine learning, and even industry knowledge.”
Why is this important: An individual with DevOps skills is one that balances the value of legacy systems with the demands and flexibility required by driving digital projects.
Many IBM i professionals already have this skill and might not even realize it.
There is always talk about what the future holds for the IBM i platform. The image here shows the future for the IBM i is bright.
Check out Travis CI. Last month, they “introduced the capability to build open-source software for multiple CPU architectures.” Now, they extend that capability to build on IBM Power and IBM Z architectures!”
The overlooked side of ERP upgrades, ERP implementations, and Digital Transformation Projects is Organizational Change Management (OCM).
This refers to the “human side of organizational change” that results from a major ERP or digital transformation projects.
The software and associated technology typically work once they are brought to market. But, where ERP and Digital Transformation projects get off track is when it comes to dealing with the human element. This is where they can go very wrong.
Neglecting to pay attention to OCM will very quickly lead to the failure of any IT or technology project.
As long as we are talking about Organization Change a good way to facilitate a true transformation is to help cultivate cross-silo leadership.
That is, hire individuals (or recruit internally) who understand the complexity and chaos that technology projects can bring to the organization.
These are “Cultural Brokers” that create great value because they help manage expectations and work to align all areas within the organization to help drive organizational change.
Not every company is as technical as the next.
Nor does every organization need to be as digital is the next.
What is TechQuilibirum?
— the balance point between being a traditional company and being a digital company.
Before you go down the path of transformation every CIO needs to have an understanding of how willing the internal and external customers are to adopt digital technologies.
Doing so will help avoid some of the chaos.
Cloud is a front and center priority for every organisation, whether it has shifted its core workloads to cloud or has yet to do so; and every enterprise is set to become a hybrid, multi-cloud enterprise.
So what does this mean?
As discussed, in last week’s issue it is important to keep the different types of cloud in perspective. As this article points out, every business is a hybrid cloud enterprise.
The future for most organizations will be best-of-breed.
The lines are blurred between modernization and digital transformation.
For every organization, it is different and they very well can happen at the same time.
One of the side effects of Digital Transformation is the fact that once a major technology change is announced, organizations have to deal with a great deal of upheaval.
As enterprises grapple with an ever-increasing rate of technical change, they risk demotivating – and losing – their key employees implementing these necessary changes. If you don’t bring your talent along in a holistic way, attempts to improve your business culture and technical stack will fail.
It is inevitable you will lose people along the way. The business knowledge that walks out the door is often the knowledge that would make the transformation successful.
As you move toward any major technology projects, it is important to set clear expectations, know your audience and celebrate your wins.
While this article focuses on the insurance industry, most of it applies to all industries.
Most IBM i organizations see the incredible value that is held within their legacy systems.
The problem is most
too often treat systems transformations as IT projects rather than acknowledging them for what they are: overall business transformations.
So where do we start and what are the options?
Answering that question begins with understanding three modernization options for insurers’ core systems: modernizing the legacy platform, building a proprietary platform, or buying a standard software package
Does your organization see Modernization as an IT project or a Business Transformation Project?
Sign up for Talsco Weekly to get the latest news, insight and job openings for the IBM i professional.
If you are an RPG programmer looking to explore opportunities or a client who is looking for a talented IBM i professional, please contact us. We look forward to assisting you.
Do you know of someone who could benefit from Talsco Weekly? If so, please use the social media buttons to spread the word. Thank you!