Talsco Weekly: How IBM i leadership strikes a balance between operation and innovation

Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly

News:  Economy and the IBM i.  The Perfect Storm.
Blockchain:  Blockchain offers interoperability for the enterprise.
Leadership:  How IBM i leadership strikes a balance between operation and innovation.
Open Source:  Vue vs React: Everything You Need To Know.
Security:  What is going on with IBM i Security?


The Perfect Storm

We don’t cover economic news, and for good reason, it seems to be a moving target.

But, what we can comment on, is the economic indicators that we see and how they relate to the IBM i community.

As a firm specializing in the IBM i space, we continue to see continued growth in the direct hire and consulting services we provide.

We are specialized.

We only focus on organizations that are looking to leverage, modernize and extend the reach of the IBM i platform.

Succession Planning & Modernization: The Perfect Storm.

Regardless of economic conditions, there is a need for IBM i talent, the need to modernize, and the need to extend the reach of the IBM i platform.

It’s the perfect storm.  A catalyst for change and innovation.

It is leading the IBM i community to adapt and think differently.

The IBM i experts that are retiring, need to be replaced.  But, the skills set for the future will be a little different.

For most IBM i shops, the need to modernize and innovate, will call for an IBM i Developer that can use a variety of tools.  While some of the tools are old, some are new (think open-source).

Whatever those the tools are, the Technology Refreshes are there to support the changes.

Bottom line, the IBM i platform is here to stay.  And if used to its potential, it will help organizations prosper, in any economy.


Blockchain offers interoperability for the enterprise

There are a number of market forces that are having an impact on the IBM i community.  Retirements and the lack of RPG resources are pushing IT leaders to take a look at the things they need to do to attract talent.

At the same time, these organizations are being asked to modernize their core applications as well as extend the reach of business systems outside native IBM i applications, that is make them interoperable with the outside world.

One way to do this is through the use of APIs. This is the process of pushing and pulling data in and out of the organization, making it more accessible.

Blockchain is one of the ways to make your enterprise systems interoperable. While the individual technology pieces are not necessarily new, the way it is all put together is, and it is starting to make its way into the enterprise.

What is blockchain?

“A blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions in a secure, decentralized, and transparent way. It uses cryptography to ensure the integrity and immutability of the data, and its distributed nature eliminates the need for intermediaries, making it a trusted and efficient way to transfer value or information.”

One blockchain that looks promising for the enterprise is Chainlink.

What is Chainlink?

“Chainlink is the only enterprise-grade oracle infrastructure that enables organizations to securely and easily connect their existing systems to all major blockchain networks.”

Yes, I know, this brings about a number of other questions, like what are blockchain networks and what is an oracle network?

If you are at all curious, here are a number of use-cases on now blockchain, and in this case, Chainlink, can be used in the enterprise.


How IBM i Leadership strikes a balance between operation and innovation

“CIOs are often teetering between striving for innovation and maintaining operational excellence.”

Innovation helps optimize

“A long-running theme with respect to IT budgets and other resources is that innovation, which can deliver new services and better experiences to customers, is engaged in a continual tug-of-war with operations”

But, innovation should also be a way of optimizing.

Innovation, by its nature, is a way of looking at things differently.

It should be “viewed as a force for simplifying and optimizing operations.” And “striking the right balance between innovation and operations is essential for any organization to succeed and stay competitive.”

The three golden rules of innovation

To get the right balance, leaders need to focus on the following areas:

Functionality: “Reminds leaders always to remember the mission.”
Serviceability: Reminds leaders always to be serving the users and the business, and never “innovate for innovation’s sake.”
Experience: Leverage your existing experience with automation. This is the short form of innovation. Make things better by simplifying processes.

Key Takeaway:

Stop “ignoring technical debt; instead, prioritize actual application modernization investments that can break the pattern and open up innovation cycles as part of a continuous modernization strategy.”

Open Source

Vue vs React: Everything You Need To Know

“Vue and React are two of the most popular tools for creating JavaScript web applications. But how do we choose between them? That’s what we’ll try to figure out in this Vue vs React comparison. We’ll review the upsides and downsides of each, provide tips for choosing which to use, and help you get started.”


What is going on with IBM i Security?

“Security is a very high concern among IBM i shops – and consistently has polled as the most important concern for the past several years.”

It’s one thing to know security is important, but it’s another to understand the relative occurrence of different types of attacks.

IT Jungle dives into IBM’s “Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023” report highlighting the top industries that are attacked and how it impacts the business.

For “whoever is responsible for securing your IBM i and other platforms in your IT shop” this is a must-read.


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