By Brent Phillips
Many, if not most organizations that depend on mainframes are experiencing the effects of the mainframe skills gap, or shortage. This gap is a result of the largely baby-boomer workforce that is now retiring without a new generation of experts in place who have the same capabilities. At the same time, the scale, complexity, and change in the mainframe environment continues to accelerate.
Performance and capacity teams are a mission-critical function, and this performance skills gap represents a great risk to ongoing operations. It demands both immediate attention and a new, more effective approach to bridging the gap.
In our connected and technology-dependent world, deep performance and capacity management skills are essential. Applications and back-end transactions are often accessed throughout the day and night, causing less workload predictability.
Simultaneously, the infrastructure as well as the performance and configuration data analysis required to maintain availability is even more complex than it used to be. New features such as Pervasive Encryption and hardware data compression (zEDC) must be measured and monitored to ensure they do not impact required service levels. New cross-platform applications with Web front-ends and mainframe transaction back-ends are now common and create new requirements for predictive and prescriptive monitoring of TCP/IP, MQ, and other network parts of the infrastructure.
This dynamic environment, coupled with the shortage of performance and capacity experts, represents a significant risk to mainframe operations and affects most of the world’s largest organizations. The mainframe performance skills gap is in fact, one of the significant issues causing IT executives to question the future role of the mainframe within their organization.