Developing A Plan To Deal With The Mainframe Skills Shortages

Everyone in the mainframe world knows that mainframe skills shortages are a real and looming problem. How to address this issue should be on the forefront of management’s minds. In a recent article, Dave Hilbe from BMC discusses some strategies to help develop mainframe talent in-house and groom the next generation of mainframe experts. He suggests the following 6 tips:

  1. Make sure that you have a defined career plan for new hires. He suggests developing a two year plan that outlines the mainframe skills and deep knowledge that a person will need to have during that time frame. Make sure that you incorporate milestones along the way to measure and evaluate progress.
  2. Sit down with your employee and communicate the mental attributes that they must have in order for them to succeed. This includes: making sure that they are challenging themselves; stress the importance of continued education; emphasize the importance of making a worthwhile contribution; make sure they understand their career growth opportunities and see if they feel like they are being fairly compensated.
  3. Assign them a mainframe mentor to help them with the skill set that you would like them to grow into.
  4. Recognize your employee’s success and development with award programs and bonuses.
  5. Make sure to optimize the work environment by grouping employees who are at the same stage of their career development.
  6. Invest in your employees by providing training and industry exposure. Offer online training and allow them to attend industry conferences.

Through these efforts, Dan has had a great success in his company’s ability to develop and maintain mainframe talent in-house. However, if you are unable to develop this skill set or if you are migrating off of your mainframe then you are probably considering outsourcing that environment. If that is the case, you might want to read our guide on mainframe outsourcing. This guide will help you understand the risks and rewards of mainframe outsourcing.