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Is Your Mainframe Workforce Skilled Enough?

“There is no saturation point in education.” – IBM Founder Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

Here’s What We Know

Your Organization relies on its Mainframe Systems. Your Organization’s success or failure depends on how effectively and efficiently these Mainframe Systems run. How effectively and efficiently these Mainframe Systems run depends on the quality of your Mainframe Workforce.

The success of your Organization as a whole, Mainframe Managers’ careers, and the Mainframers’ careers, all depend on having an optimally skilled Mainframe Computing Workforce! No essential argument there, right?

Here’s What We Should Know

In today’s mainframe computing industry, an occasional class on a single topic is no longer enough to keep your personnel at peak performance. In today’s mainframe computing industry, a blended and broad mix of conferences, classroom training, in-house training, mentoring and elearning must be completed regularly and often, scheduled and on the fly, by junior, intermediate and senior personnel alike!

Today’s mainframe workforce needs instant access to highest quality training on a broad array of mainframe and mainframe related topics. Your mainframe personnel must be highly skilled, broadly skilled and currently skilled. Every new skill, every piece of knowledge, every update and reinforcement; has the potential to save your organization incalculable time and money, while avoiding headaches, errors and damage to your brand!

The Value of Mainframe Training

The world’s top performing companies not only recognize the importance of their mainframe computing personnel, but also the need to provide the right skills to enable these personnel. They recognize that for long term organizational success, there must be a commitment to utilizing a structured mainframe workforce training program and there must be an annual training budget to enable it.

READ IBM's 2014 Study: “Skills For a Smarter Planet”

According to recent IBM Studies, 71% of CEOs cited human capital, ahead of products, customer relationships and brands as the leading source of sustained economic value. In addition CEOs ranked “People Skills” in top 4 “External forces impacting the enterprise”. 84% of employees in Best Performing Organizations are receiving the training they need compared with 16% in the worst performing companies.

Mainframe Learning Services

According the “Training Impact on Project Survey, IDC, 2011” study, there is a distinct relationship between number of hours of training and project success. It shows that “The amount of training does not need to be massive. When preparing for a project, teams receiving 40 hours of training per member met their significant project objectives three times as often as teams that received 30 hours of training or less.”

Mainframe Learning Services

In a recent IBM Smarter Workforce study, IBM looked at best performing companies and worst performing companies to see if skills had a part to play in performance. The results found were not surprising: 84% of employees in Best Performing Organizations were receiving the training they needed, a full 68% better than worst performing companies.

Your Next Generation Workforce

Though the dreaded “Mainframe Skills Crisis” has turned out to be a bit of an urban legend, the fact remains that a significant percentage of the mainframe workforce has either recently retired or will be retiring in the next 5 years. Though IBM’s Academic Initiative is helping more Universities and Colleges to offer “mainframe skills”, there are still only a few that offer a comprehensive mainframe computing curriculum that can produce graduates ready to walk into a mainframe job.

It’s a given that the mainframe computing industry will need to hire a significant number of personnel to run their mainframe systems over the next few decades so having a structured, comprehensive, readily available mainframe training program in place and available for all levels of mainframe computing personnel is a significant competitive advantage for your organization! (and it’s never been easier or more affordable.)

Not Just Technical Training

The mainframe computing industry is realizing that training the next generation mainframe workforce is not just a technical expertise problem. Many of the retiring mainframe specialists, particularly those working in application development, will have built up a huge functional knowledge from all the estimating, writing of High Level and Technical designs, fixing problems, component Integration testing and all the other tasks they have been involved with in their mainframe career.

If you stop and think about it, this knowledge is more important than the technical expertise. Mainframe technical expertise can be bought, but it is the disappearance of the functional knowledge of your mainframe business systems that will give you the biggest headaches.

A coordinated approach to knowledge transfer should be developed which will require changes to the current documentation regime. You will need to develop knowledge documentation suitable for new starters to get a grip of the system fundamentals.

Interskill’s Mainframe Presenter Series offers a tool to enable effortless documentation/archiving of all of the knowledge and experience of your senior mainframe personnel, producing it in a training format available for ongoing use by the organization.

Case Study: IBM’s THINK40 Initiative

Interskill‘s 25 years’ experience providing, implementing and supporting mainframe workforce training programs for the world’s premier mainframe computing organizations has shown us what works and what doesn’t!

A Mainframe Workforce Training Program that utilizes the simple THINK40 principles of ‘Managers setting an expectation of training’, will deliver unprecedented results across your mainframe computing organization! Use our experience, expertise and elearning to optimize your mainframe workforce training program.