Hundreds of enterprise IT professionals converged in Orlando, August 9th-14th, for the annual SHARE summer conference, which featured more than 500 educational sessions. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the longstanding user group.
Created in 1955, just two years after the release of the first IBM computer, SHARE was a first of its kind. “The original goal was to have enterprise IT users share their experiences,” said James Vincent, president of SHARE. “That tradition is still strong today.”
This year’s conference addressed a wide range of topics, including big data analytics, cloud computing, mobile, networking, and security.
According to Vincent, z13 was a particular focal point. “IBM received a lot of customer input - and a lot of input from SHARE.” The new z13 release really unleashed the memory boundaries, increased processing power and continued to improve upon its reliability, he remarked. “It reduced a lot of technical barriers for a lot of companies.”
Attendees also got to hear about recently declassified CIA operations from Joseph W. Lambert, CIA director of Information Management Services, during his keynote speech on August 11th. Lambert shared insight about how the federal unit is preparing to address the technical challenges that affect security in the nation as well as individual enterprises.
“Mainframe data is growing tremendously and companies want to utilize it,” said Vincent. “They are investing in data analytics,” he added. “But data security and privacy are really growing in importance.”
As SHARE looks forward to the next 60 years, the biggest challenge - and opportunity - ahead is getting the younger generation into the fold. This is important to the continued success of SHARE as a source of influence, networking and education. “There is a definite skills shortage in the marketplace,” commented Vincent.
SHARE has some members with 35-45 years of service under their belts. The board is actively working to get younger generations involved as well and recently launched a “New to z Systems” program. “Technology and topics change,” said Vincent. “The people are the real strength behind SHARE.”
Here’s to another 60 years!