Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

I believe everyone acknowledges that there is a mainframe skills gap. Many mainframe technology employees are retiring and there are few new recruits to fill the openings. I have heard many different suggestions on how to attract future mainframe talent.

Reg Harbeck of IBM Systems Magazine did an interview with Susan Dineen on the future of the mainframe workforce. She had some really interesting insights she shared in the interview. Harbeck, R. (2018, April). Susan Dineen on the Future of the Mainframe Workforce. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from (1) Live Send&utm_content=Susan Dineen on the Future of the Mainframe Workforce&spMailingID=13324271&spUserID=MTc5NzQyODM4ODI5S0&spJobID=1381408713&spReportId=MTM4MTQwODcxMwS2

She pointed out that human resource professionals are dealing with a lot of complex issues and developing a strategy around this has not been a top priority. However, to reduce business risk, you need to think about the mainframe skills gap as a strategic opportunity, and you need to put talent first because if you do not have teams that understand the applications and the environment, then the risk of an outage increases. People get burned out because there are too few people to do the work and this has a negative impact on morale and productivity. Also, time to hire and cost of hire can increase as well.

She suggests the first step in creating a strategy is to conduct a risk assessment of your legacy staff, looking at the people that are on mainframe teams, their tenure, and their expected date of retirement. Then, do an assessment of the portfolio of systems and hardware and determine what has been documented and what hasn’t. This establishes priorities and forms the basis of a risk response plan so that retirements are not a surprise, and a pipeline of mainframe talent can be developed to fill open positions in a timely manner.

To read the full interview, click here:

To find out more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services, please visit our website



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