Well, I had some folks wondering when the next System z is coming along, since it was February '08 that the z10 came along, and we had those nice Power7 announcements this fall. Naturally, I can't say even if I knew, but I did see a nice counterpoint on the System z skills discussion on gomainframe.com with a document from Clabby Analytics called: The Alleged Mainframe Skills Shortage. It is part of a counterpoint to a recent consultant release on mainframe skills. I will leave you to read it, but not that there are some nice tidbits in it, including: IBM's $100M investment for easier management interfaces for the mainframe, some detailed demographics vs anecdotal information on mainframe support, and a few comments like 'silly' and 'daft' to suggest that there is anymore a crisis than for IT skills in general. Of course, you add the thousands of new graduates and 100's of schools that are flowing from the Academic Initiative, and one wonders what issues are really behind this urban myth.
With the recent bid by SAP to acquire Sybase, I noted in the Financial Times and other sources how IBM is setting aside $20B for acquisitions at a pace that will double the last decade in the next five years. Wow! I maintain a site internally that helps keep track of acquisitions at a high level, guess I will have to ramp it up. And yes, the wheels are spinning for candidates in my brain....
On an unrelated note, while we know the next major phase after services may be cloud, but looking back to a push that is still very much alive, I have been noticing how Enterprise Modernization is very much alive and well, incorporates some aspects of e-business, SOA, and really underscores some potential culture clash issues between the free wheeling internet boys and super systems management Systems z folks. If you happen to be modernizing a part of the company and IT that has not been touched by that upstart internet, just be extra sure you look at ALL the security implications, and review infrastructure, development, and governance! (Hey, there are some acquisitions that relate to these too... like ISS, AppScan (Watchfire), Ounce Labs, and of course Rational itself which now has the system z Rational Developer for z we have talked about.)
Enterprise Class Innovation: System z Perspectives
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So, what is going on?
Green Chips Stocks had their view of the tightening of Environmental standards reflected in the IBM Suppliers announcement on Global sustainability, while IBM acquires Cast Iron Systems for cloud initiatives and the delivery of SaaS, and also now has a follow on game to Innova8 with the new CityOne game.
Wow.. you really don't have to work that hard to see these patterns of Big Blue just moving along on their long time stated intentions of moving the bar forward on basic beliefs of making a difference for their customers and the world... while being a strong business entity. I mean, hey, let's be good citizens, let's help our suppliers do the things we have been on green initiatives, and let's continue to bolster the cloud offerings we are developing! (Yes, I am going to point out the obvious: what systems predominate in the cloud of the future, or those huge system outsourced floors IBM runs? Hint: Enterprise........Systems!)
There is a new Poughkeepsie green manufacturing system, there are new Business Process components announced at Impact today in Las Vegas, and IBM has signed an agreement with Drawbase software to support the smart building initiatives. (see previous entries on the amount of energy used by buildings and the growth of cities....)
OK, so there are patterns other than development or design ones. Here is one: I just got back from a meeting (yes, I am an internal IBMer architect) where the Enterprise Systems architects from North America got together for some updates -- and to see one another face to face--- of course.
Besides learning about some of the cool stuff coming down the pipe (oh how I wish I could share!!), there was lots of comparing notes on what clients are doing, talking with those with decades of experience with banks, government, health, and manufacturing institutions, and plenty of 'what would you do' chats on behalf of clients.
And the pattern? The big boys are as dedicated to Enterprise Systems as ever, to growing and modernizing them, and to adding workload (as we have talked about with Chordiant, ACI, WAS, Development, Warehouse and others --see Solution Editions).
And, that while thinking of the conversations I had with other IBM'ers, looking at the news, and the stuff coming... well, it all reminded me of the IBM Values: