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Current Events & Commentary / Commentary

Energy, Vibe, and Atmosphere

This is IT. We must be willing to bend.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

With a growing emphasis in talking about the state of the current IBM i workforce, also known as the “IBM i skills shortage,” it behooves oneself to keep the noise level to a minimum in order to make even-keeled decisions. In short, don’t necessarily believe all the hype you read.

I’d like to think of this as an extension piece to “The IBM i Skills Shortage Myth.” It’s not necessarily a “part two” per se, but more of a story that runs parallel. I’ve been trying to write this for about six weeks, but some things are just hard to put into words, especially when they involve how you feel as opposed to what you know. Besides, writing what you know is easy. Writing what you feel leaves room for reader interpretation, so you have to be more careful.

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Murphy’s Security Law

Holes are everywhere. Address them before someone addresses you.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

A couple articles ago, I talked about the need for modernizing encryption on our IBM i partitions. Shutting one door can shut others, and shutting other doors may give you a false sense of security when you have a few windows open. You can drive yourself batty looking for these holes, but every now and then a hole finds you.

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The IBM i Skills Shortage Myth

The problem isn’t IBM i skills shortage; it’s an “RPG II/III-fixed format-legacy-cycle” skills shortage.

Written by Steve Pitcher

Yeah, I said it.

An “RPG II/III-fixed format-legacy-cycle” skills shortage. The kind of shortage you don’t want to have if you care about the future of your business. So forgive me if I take exception to the argument about IBM i having a skills shortage. It doesn’t. IBM i’s history is rooted in being a business computer for business people. They run business programs to do business things. IBM i may have grown in terms of capabilities, but at its core it’s a business operating system. So when people talk about an IBM i skills shortage, it makes me wonder if we’ve lost the point about what IBM i really is.

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Hardening Your IBM i Ciphers

Moving to TLS 1.2 is not enough to keep your data secure.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

I was at the COMMON Fall Conference in Columbus, Ohio, two weeks ago where I (among other things) presented two sessions on IBM i systems management. One of the sessions was called "IBM i and our False Sense of Security." It was essentially a mixture of a number of security-related articles I’ve been writing as of late.

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Eye on the i World: HelpSystems Sees IBM i Vendor Consolidation as Healthy for the Market

Long-time software vendor HelpSystems thinks the future still looks promising for the IBM i platform.

john gristWritten by John Ghrist

As any long-time observer of the IBM i can tell you, a significant feature of its market over its recent history has been the consolidation of companies offering software and other solutions to the user base.

 

HelpSystems, a Minnesota-based company that started out specializing in automated operations solutions for IBM i, has been part of the consolidation movement.

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Protecting the Business with Smart Cloud Choices

Before reading the end of this article, someone will seriously ponder if they could market gluten-free cloud servers.

Written by Steve Pitcher

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a colleague at another company who had a major virus headache. From what they could gather, a user opened a zip file from an email that turned out to be a fantastic cryptolocker variant. First, it managed to encrypt everything on that user’s laptop, and then it proceeded to lock down files on every shared drive on which the user had write access. And did it ever.

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The Spark

Thoughts on encouraging the ones around us to learn and innovate on our behalf.

Written by Steve Pitcher

I wrote the following little piece for the COMMON.CONNECT magazine about a month ago. I’ve shared it in its entirety below (in italics) and then expanded on my thoughts because in retrospect I really needed to go deeper.

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Eye on the i World: BI Tool Vendor Sees Positive Perception of IBM i as Key to the Platform's Future

IBM's recent emphasis on TV advertising for its Watson platform is seen by some as a sign of declining commitment to the IBM i. Prominent business intelligence vendor New Generation Software thinks this concern is misplaced.

john gristWritten by John Ghrist

Judging by what we see in mass-media advertising these days, IBM's vision of its own future seems to be centered on its Watson platform. Data analytics via the cloud will surely play a big role in many enterprises' futures, but can we rely on the inference some could draw that the IBM i is fading from view everywhere else except in companies already committed to the platform?

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