I had the opportunity recently to visit the zITA Boot Camp and speak with a community of Architects who watch over the mainframe or Enterprise Systems world. For those of you who don't know, zITAs are the System z IT Architect community in IBM. These are the guys who advise and guide the largest institutions as they keep the big systems evolving to meet current business initiatives with the appropriate technologies. Now I am not saying that there was not a few missing or grey hairs in residence, but there was a nice mix of what some HR folks might call 'vitality' representatives as well. While this community knows the intricacies of where virtual storage and channel commands started from, they were discussing developments that ranged from best fit and use of workloads across platforms, futures of zEnterprise capabilities, and guiding IT leaders on strategies for decisions based on Total Cost of Ownership based on the full range of use and expenditure categories that real clients experience. .
These folks are really the Trusted Advisors we hear about, the technical conscience overseeing change in our Enterprise Clients. While they were being vetted on topics from future extensions to current technologies, they were also looking at application in spaces such as Cloud, Industry specific frameworks and solutions, and the next stage of low level integration across component boundaries using open technologies to accelerate and increase options across technology providers that can give more options for solution innovation.
As at any meeting or conference of this type, the conversations at breaks and meals are often some of the best. These are not individuals who are stuck in the quagmire of detail without a clue to what is going on with the business side at their clients. I heard conversations that included topics such as: how can we better understand industry trends our clients are dealing with, how can we help our customers better link IT and LOB initiatives so they are more effective and valuable once implemented, and what lessons can we leverage from other fields such as negotiation and the legal system to better communicate across disparate technical communities?
Sure, these guys know their availability strategies, but they also know what is going on with Web 3.0 and Linked Data, Economic and Risk Models of the Cloud Infrastructure, and what changes in compliance legislation might mean for reporting strategies and the systems behind them.
Who better to have guiding our largest and best institutions? Thank you zITAs.