Back on Sept. 5, 1990, IBM made a major transformational announcement, the System/390. Along with the new system, IBM also announced the Enterprise Systems Architecture/390 operating systems MVS/ESA, VM/ESA, and VSE/ESA. In addition, they announced the Enterprise System Connection (ESCON).
What was most interesting to me then as publisher of Mainframe Journal was the preeminence of the words “Enterprise Systems” and the corresponding decrease in the use of the word “Mainframe.” Hence, I changed the name of our magazine to Enterprise Systems Journal effective with the October 1990 issue.
Well, it really is déjà vu all over again! Only this time it’s IBM’s July 22, 2010, transformational announcement of the zEnterprise System and the growing reality that data centers in the world’s largest organizations are mostly multi-platform installations with IBM mainframes at the hub. To reflect the changing dynamic of today’s hybrid data centers, we’ve renamed z/Journal to Enterprise Tech Journal. The content will continue to be technical and mainframe-centric, but we will also include articles on the development, expert integration, deployment, and management of multi-platform technologies in the enterprise. Please email me and let me know what you think.
The Current State of Mainframe Education and Conferences
After attending recent SHARE and WAVV conferences, it has become apparent that most enterprises with IBM mainframe systems are taking a passive approach to providing their mainframers with ongoing education. And the number-one reason I’ve been given for this slow decline in attendance at these events: cost. It continues to amaze me that when things get tight, many IT organizations cut the one area that should be expanded—the training and continuing education of its IT staff.
Pete Clark, long-time z/VSE guru and one of the founders of WAVV, also tackles the issue of declining attendance at mainframe-centric conferences. He notes that since 2001, many traditional user conferences have experienced a downturn in attendance; in some cases, they’ve been so seriously impacted that the event, and often the sponsoring organization, have ceased to exist.
Because we’re also deeply concerned about the steady decline in the attendance at mainframe-related conferences, we will be conducting a reader survey to try to understand the issues surrounding it. If you receive the survey, please take the time to complete it, as your information will be extremely helpful to us. And who knows, you might even be one of the winners of a new, third-generation iPad as a token of our appreciation for your time.