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Boomer Exodus: Staffing Strategies to Meet the Mainframe Talent Drain

At the ripe old age of 52, “big iron” still powers an array of longstanding enterprises (an estimated 80 percent of the Fortune 500 still rely on mainframes). Yet, in a recent report from Compuware, two-thirds of enterprise CIOs surveyed believe that retiring mainframe talent will dramatically impact their business. They anticipate very real headaches in the form of increased application risk, lower productivity and more project overruns, to name just a few.

These challenges will hold especially true in sectors such as banking and financial services, healthcare, retail and telecommunications.

The reality is that a demographic tsunami is building as IT pros with deep mainframe knowledge approach retirement age in record numbers.

Compounding the problem, a substantial skills gap is developing as rising Millennial IT workers come up short on COBOL and other critical mainframe skills.

At the same time, the role of the mainframe in today’s business world cannot be understated. Almost nine in 10 enterprise CIOs surveyed by Compuware say that legacy technologies will remain an important part of their business for at least the next decade. In fact, many are finding mainframes useful in the switch to cloud computing—turning them into giant data servers that provide cloud applications with the information they need.

Ultimately, organizations that can’t bridge the talent gap imperil their ability to keep mainframe operations up and running.

For real-world insights into the challenges ahead—and thoughts on developing the mainframe talent you need—please join Ensono and IBM for a lively discussion of this timely topic. 

IBM Systems Media Webinar – July 26
Time: 12pm CST
Duration: 60 minutes

Missed the webinar? Watch the full video below

This highly engaging and interactive webinar will dive deep into mainframe workforce challenges, including programs and solutions that CIOs are implementing to address them. We’ll also hear from four young mainframers on why they chose mainframe as an area of focus—and the challenges they’ve experienced since coming out of school.

Also on tap:

  • Staffing strategies for companies that want to avoid the risks of a mainframe brain drain
  • How IBM and Ensono are addressing the challenge

About the Presenters:

Ken Harper provides senior level thought leadership as Ensono’s Director of Mainframe Services. A 20-year veteran, he offers unique perspectives on managing legacy technologies. Ken lives by the quote, “The improbable can get done, the impossible takes a little longer.” 

IBM’s Christy Schroeder has more than 20 years of experience on the z Systems platform and has established extensive client, partner and ISV relationships throughout her various IBM roles. Her current role as the Worldwide z Systems Skills Client Leader extends that focus by educating clients on the z Systems Academic Initiative offerings available to help them find, build and retain enterprise talent.

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