Augmented Everything: How a CIO can make workers smarter, stronger, more aware

Much has been written recently about the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and robotics technology, and about how these technologies will destroy jobs and wreck society.

Someday, maybe. But today and for the next few years—the planning horizon of CIOs rather than academics—the reality is far different and far brighter: jobs will be enriched and the workers doing them will do them in new ways, at least for firms whose CIOs understand what’s happening.

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Making a Modern Mainframer

It’s no secret that the dreaded “skills gap” is affecting the mainframe market. It’s getting harder and harder to find people who know COBOL or Assembler, and organizations that rely on these systems often have open job postings because there’s no perfect match for the positions they’re trying to fill. So what can companies and government agencies that rely on Big Iron do to foster the next generation of mainframers?

They should do absolutely nothing.

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In the age of the customer, the CIO is between a rock and a hard place

Today, customers drive business and battle lines have been drawn. Organizations are now obsessed with their customers and are competing as never before to win, serve, and retain them. According to Forrester, by 2020 every business will be either a digital predator or a digital prey; in other words, as prey a company will be a casualty of the battle to win customers.

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Money for Nothing

My wife loves shopping – even for food; I don’t, but we need to get it done. Because we’re both busy with our jobs, we tend to do one big shop at the start of the month, to get much of what we need for the month. For the most part, that means the dry foods like pasta and crackers and breakfast cereal, the long-expiry refrigerated items like butter, eggs and some fresh fruit and veggies, as well as canned and frozen foods. This leaves us with only a few runs to the corner store during the month for short-expiry items like milk and bread.

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ignore reality

Ignoring reality

While it may be difficult to credit the sincerity of someone who self-critiques by saying, “I care too much,” there are times when I apply the sentiment to myself. In my 37 years in the IT industry, I have been employed by mainframe software vendors for about half the time, and have been a customer of mainframe software vendors for the other half. I’ve seen things from each perspective, and even when I’m on the vendor side of the table, I can usually sympathize with the customer’s situation.

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Six ways to improve IT Efficiency and Profitability for Healthcare Insurance Companies

If you’re a healthcare insurance company, you’ve probably felt the repercussions of the Affordable Care Act. Since its inception, it has created the largest growth in the number of insured people in four decades—greatly affecting the IT burden within the insurance industry as a whole.

In fact, since the passage of the Affordable Care Act five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage. And, more than 12.3 million additional individuals are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of April 2015, compared to before October 2013.

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enterprise cloud

Enterprise Cloud Computing in the New Millennium

A recent study found that 70% of enterprises have either applications or infrastructure running in the cloud today—that’s up 12% from 2012. As well, since 2012 cloud investments by large-scale enterprises with over 1,000 employees have increased by 20%—on average spending over $3M. In 2015, it was estimated that 25% of IT budgets would be allocated to cloud solutions—with the highest percentage being allocated to SaaS models.

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The Five-Point Mainframe Transformation Leadership Checklist

Despite utterly foolish predictions to the contrary, the mainframe persists as the core computing engine for global commerce. That’s because 1) investments in mainframe code are irreplaceable and not practically re-platformable, 2) the performance economics of the mainframe are unmatched, and 3) IBM’s rollout of the z13 demonstrates that the mainframe platform is actually out-evolving x86 hardware.

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Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT – is it really the right way to go?

I’ve been hearing a lot about Bimodal IT—Gartner was pumping it up recently at their Gartner Symposium, while Jason Bloomberg at Forbes.com didn’t like it and neither does Compuware’s Chis O’Malley. I don’t like it either. Bimodal IT is one of those things that I actually enjoy reading about. It’s right up there with Marxism: a great idea on paper, but the reality of implementation typically deviates far from the promise of the benefit.

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Does it take a super-hero CIO to stay on the mainframe?

Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent Can’t Get The Job Done Because They Don’t Go To Work Wearing Their Cape

I am really starting to get sick of the conventional wisdom that exists out there that maintains that companies should abandon the mainframe and do all their computing in so-called “hybrid cloud” environments. And why aren’t more IT leaders stepping up and bringing an end to this so-called wisdom? It kind of reminds me of the super heroes who generally don’t get involved until they can go away and put on their super hero cape. For the super hero, it’s about seeking anonymity; for the IT manager it might be that or a fear of making waves. Either way, I say it is time for IT leaders to not be afraid and proudly wear your cape to work, and do what’s needed without delay. The notion that we should combine virtualized x86 infrastructure in their own data center with the XaaS resources from cloud providers and abandon the mainframe is likely not in the best interest of most companies but it requires some IT superhero fortitude to debunk it.

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