Content by iTech Solutions
Today’s Reality: Addressing Skill Gaps in a Changing Workforce
By Pete Massiello ,
iTech Solutions / December 20, 2021
The IBM i skills shortage has intensified over the last few years as senior IBM i system administrators with years of experience have started to reach retirement age. This has only accelerated with the pandemic. Many CIOs and IT directors are realizing it’s difficult to replace 30 years of knowledge or quickly cultivate that skill set. Sure, there are plenty of younger workers with desire and drive entering the workforce, but they lack extensive experience and knowledge—many only know one job and one environment.
A managed services offering is like an experienced IBM i system administrator being “time-shared” amongst a few customers. These are knowledgeable administrators with real-life experience who can help you with your skills shortage. In fact, one customer’s CIO told us that he was surprised at the level of experience that we had working on his account; he expected a more junior system administrator. Plus, at iTech Solutions, it’s not just one person, it’s a team of individuals.
Let’s look at a few items that companies are currently wrestling with. Security and backup/ recovery are always top concerns. Security is getting scarier; it’s not a matter of if someone will break into your environment, but when. Of course, you can work to prevent breaches or ransomware attacks, but do you really want to trust this to your newest employee? Most IBM i shops keep the “crown jewels” of their organization within LPARs, and those need to be protected from unwanted visitors.
Remember what I said about experience, knowledge, and know-how? If someone did break in, you need a backup solution that ensures your organization can recover. Sure, a junior person can execute this, but experience will know what is needed for recovery. Remember, your recovery is only as good as your backup. While these two areas show the need for experienced IBM i administrators, let’s not forget OS upgrades, PTFs, replication, single sign-on, FlashCopy, adding new printers, firmware for tape drives, SANS, FSP and HMCs. The list goes on; make sure you have the skills you need supporting you.
About the author:
Pete Massiello has been working with the AS/400, iSeries and IBM i since 1989, focusing on systems management and technical support. He is the president of iTech Solutions Group, an IBM Gold Business Partner delivering solutions and services to IBM i shops throughout the world.
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About iTech Solutions
iTech Solutions has been an IBM Business Partner for 20-plus years, offering customized and flexible business solutions for your IBM i. Learn more about our solutions →