At the SHARE New Orleans session “Surviving and Thriving in the New Century Mainframe Landscape,” join a cadre of industry voices to discuss the enduring power of the mainframe. With the recent rise and evolution of cloud and AI, the mainframe is still as relevant as ever for many enterprises around the world. Far from an obsolete legacy, the mainframe is constantly evolving to meet modern needs.
Other areas in which the mainframe is carving out a significant spot for itself in the modern era of IT include DevOps, cloud computing (both public and private clouds), and running multiple virtual operating systems (which it has been doing since 1972). But these avenues for the mainframe, and the mainframe’s role as an integral player in the IT ecosystem, are still not widely known to the public at large or to executives outside of IT. This issue is exacerbated by the lack of incoming IT professionals with an understanding of mainframe concepts.
At SHARE New Orleans, Janet Sun, senior consultant; Frank DeGilio, distinguished engineer at IBM; and Steven Perva, senior mainframe innovation engineer at Ensono will host a unique “UNSESSION” focusing on engaging the audience for a conversation about the new-century mainframe landscape.
According to DeGilio and Perva, the intention is to solicit a free-flowing dialogue discussing the “issues and inhibitors impacting the mainframe industry,” while attempting to use the UNCONFERENCE model for this UNSESSION.
According to Duke University, an “UNCONFERENCE” is a participant-driven conference model that emerged in the early 2010s. UNCONFERENCEs subvert the expert-centered structure of traditional conferences by instead prioritizing participant voices as leaders and decision-makers.
Frank explained how this model will be utilized: “The audience will vote on the proposed topics, then an industry voice will present a position and open the floor for discussion. We believe that the up-and-coming generation of IT professionals do not favor one-way lectures or presentations, and this UNSESSION is designed to drive discussion and invite opinions from everyone in the room.”
The session invites participants to discuss and debate the issues facing the mainframe industry, including the perceived value of the mainframe, improving value versus reducing costs, buy versus build, aging mainframe-skilled professionals, and training the new generation. The session will also look at keeping and nurturing those newly entering the field through mid-tenure as they become the next wave of mainframe experts.
“We also see the potential of looking at mainframe culture, how it has changed, maybe why and how it contributes to the departure of mid-tenure professionals and/or stagnation of mainframe thought,” explained Perva. “Another area of exploration is the perception of the mainframe as old, obsolete technology, and what can be done to change that perception. Additionally, the perception of mainframe technology is that it is expensive. We might anticipate a discussion of whether to simplify mainframe management to reduce costs or focus on improving the value of the mainframe to the enterprise.”
Sun, DeGilio, and Perva are looking forward to the sharing of ideas from participants of many varied backgrounds.
“We believe that everyone’s experience is different, and everyone has valuable perspectives to contribute,” Sun said. “We are experimenting with the UNSESSION format with the belief that the participants should drive the content. We would like to see a dialogue rather than a monologue. We believe that the high-level issue is important and has been the proverbial ‘elephant in the room.’”
SHARE is an independent, volunteer-run information technology association that provides education, professional networking, and industry influence. SHARE New Orleans takes place August 13-18 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and registration is now open.
Register now and join us at SHARE New Orleans.