The secret to attracting mainframe talent in the midst of a skills crisis

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The tech industry is in the midst of a hurricane, with leaders balancing challenging economic conditions, budgetary pressures, and customer pressure for the latest innovations and technology-driven services. Technology leaders’ priorities are understandably torn between focusing on company outcomes and customer needs, and building robust talent pools to strengthen their organizations.

Compounding this pressure is the increasing difficulty of acquiring technical talent, especially in the mainframe research from Deloitte We found that 79% of business leaders believe that obtaining the right resources and skills is their top mainframe-related challenge.

Contrary to expectations

There is a unique and challenging set of factors that hinder the search for mainframe talent. It’s an aging workforce combined with new hires who are unaware or unsure that mainframes have a future.

Organizations need new approaches to meet this challenge and encourage new talent to build careers on the mainframe.


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Why Mainframes Matter

Mainframes are still the foundation of much of modern IT. Every industry is trusted to carry out 30 billion business transactions every day. 92 out of top 100 Bank67 of the Fortune 100 and 4 of the top 5 Airlines And seven of the world’s top 10 retailers all rely on technology to run their IT environments. This reputation is built because mainframes are highly reliable, secure, and capable of handling large amounts of data, making them a great place to run mission-critical applications.

Across industries, IT teams are modernizing their systems, and mainframes are undergoing a similar shift. However, the mainframe is not going away. On the contrary, mainframes are adapting to hybrid constructions that combine the best of mainframes with the best of the best. cloud. The result was a new infrastructure. This infrastructure requires people with mainframe skills to lead and usher in the new future of modern IT.

Mainframes may seem daunting to beginning careers, but they are an area that opens many doors in the technology industry. Encourage IT talent to consider mainframes and support them as they enter the industry.

Mainframe Career Possibilities

A mainframe career has several selling points. Diverse at its core, it covers a variety of roles, from product development to capacity management, operations to compliance, and each role is in high demand. But perhaps the most compelling possibility is the opportunity to become an integral part of a company’s technology strategy through mainframe skills.

The modernization and consolidation path is creating opportunities for individuals with mainframe skills to participate in developments that will take organizations beyond the limitations imposed by their traditional IT assets and into an ambitious future.

The trick for leaders is to build an effective talent pipeline that supports people throughout their careers, from developing skills to putting those skills into meaningful practice in the workplace. Programs such as Mainframe Academy provide a valuable entry point for those entering the field. Building effective pathways that emphasize flexibility and diversity is a key way organizations can help new hires learn skills, gain new opportunities, and advance within their teams.

These kinds of programs need to exist alongside an organizational culture that encourages participation at all levels of the company, from technical experts to global leaders. Involving various team members in this “technical community of training” gives individuals the opportunity to take on mentoring roles and train new hires through experience. This type of program adds an extra dimension to your training, offering both a high level of expertise and practical experience. This is key in giving newcomers a comprehensive experience of the mainframe role. Encouraging new hires to stay in the organization by fostering a community of training while a more experienced team reinvests her time in the wider team through mentoring the next generation of mainframe talent. I encourage you to do so.

nurture the next generation

It is important that training covers all areas of the mainframe in both virtual and face-to-face environments. Her remote training is just as effective as in-person courses, as new beginners can follow the content in their own time. Online courses such as WebX and CPD are useful tools for setting up your team at the start of your career. This type of flexible approach communicates to new hires that you are committed to improving their training, ambitions, and skills. Essentially, it’s about not being afraid to invest time and money in their careers and being motivated to help them excel.

Tailoring our programs to individual skill sets is a great way to inspire all candidates, regardless of previous experience. Design your program to challenge each person without overwhelming them, give each prospective employee a chance to test the mainframe, and feel well-prepared to tackle mainframe challenges outside of training. please give me.

Incorporating multiple entry points into your program is an effective way to differentiate candidates and tier training to accommodate different experiences. For example, the beginner level includes basic skills and allows candidates to build up lab experience before proceeding to permanent placement within the workforce.

In addition, establishing the steps and phases for candidates to work on will give structure to the program and clarify progress. So, for example, if a candidate is struggling to improve on a particular skill set, we will be able to assess where they are going wrong and what specific aspects to target. This process will benefit the candidate while ensuring that they are developing successful talent in their field.

Preparing candidates in this end-to-end manner gradually exposes them to industry demands and allows them to develop their skills while demonstrating the value of working in an industry like mainframe.

Why the Mainframe Future is Bright

There are many new opportunities on the horizon for mainframes. Mainframes are being adopted to meet the needs of modern business as leaders move through the process of consolidation and modernization. For example, modern programming languages ​​are becoming available on mainframes. Additionally, as enterprises migrate workloads from mainframes to the cloud, the platform will be used for next-generation technologies. In addition to this, we can expect more product introductions. DevOps A self-service approach to improving mainframe execution efficiency.

Therefore, the mainframe career trajectory will blossom. But without the right support system, talent will be pushed out of the industry before being properly considered. The industry is now under pressure to close the skills gap, and as it stands, the tactics many are employing are not encouraging new talent to join the industry and support the evolving mainframe. .

Companies that aim to be the driving force behind training, mentorship, and other talent compensation programs will build strong mainframe teams and will be the long-term profitable companies. Inaction is no longer an option. IT organizations must look to building a solid foundation today if they want to make the mainframe a valuable part of the future and leave the cobweb-gathering past untouched.

Mike Pennaz is responsible for mainframe strategy, integration and execution. Ensono.

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