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February 2, 2015 Workforce

Topaz: How Millennials Will Save the World Economy

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Photo credit: Xurble

Photo credit: Xurble

Millennials have to save the world. They are, after all, inheriting a world in crisis. Climate change, economic disparity, global political upheaval—these are all problems left to them by preceding generations to solve.

One of the biggest crises facing Millennials, however, gets very little media attention. That crisis is the future of the mainframe. But make no mistake. The generational transfer of mainframe stewardship is a crisis. And it deserves a spot on the Millennial to-do list.

Why mainframes matter
Most technology narratives found in popular media center around cloud, Big Data, social and mobile. These are interesting enough. The reality, however, is that the world’s largest organizations—including the top global financial institutions—run on the mainframe. They always have, and they always will.

Some argue about this reality. Others choose to ignore it. Nevertheless, a reality it is. The mainframe is the only platform that delivers the scale, performance, reliability, security and auditability necessary to run the world’s core transactional workloads. Hadoop makes headlines. COBOL maintains the world’s economic order.

The Millennial problem
Unfortunately, no one has broadly convinced Millennials on the mainframe yet. We’ve told them they can get rich writing mobile app code or doing data science. But we haven’t told them that no one can monetize anything if the banking system falls into disrepair.

And, no, Bitcoin is not the solution. The solution is for Millennials to assume stewardship of the mainframe and do good things with it. The sooner, the better.

However, it is doubtful that Millennials are suddenly going to start studying CICS and JCL. Nor are they likely to sit in front of green screens and navigate their way through arcane 20-year-old runbooks. They engage with technology graphically and logically, rather than linearly and operationally. So they can only save the mainframe if someone gives them the tools to do so.

Enter Topaz
Topaz is Compuware’s initial contribution to the Millennial/mainframe mission. With Topaz, Millennial developers and data analysts can work with mainframe- and non-mainframe data in a common, intuitive manner. Topaz is brand new product, but it is the biggest step yet in the right direction—because it Millennializes the mainframe, rather than attempting to mainframize Millennials.

Of course, there are alternatives to Topaz. You could, for example, simply wish the problem will somehow go away. Or you could try to force the square peg of Millennial practitioners into the round hole of traditional mainframe management. But those don’t seem like very viable alternatives.

So if Millennials are actually going to save the world, they’re going to have to do it with something like Topaz. That’s not to say that there won’t also be any work for them at the Genius Bar helping people upload videos to Vine. It’s just that there is serious work for Millennials, too—should they happen to feel inclined to save the world economy and advance the success of what is the greatest enterprise-computing platform of all time.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Chris O'Malley

Chris O’Malley is CEO of Compuware, where he is responsible for setting the company’s vision, mission and strategy. With 30 plus years of IT experience, Chris has led the company’s transformation into becoming the “mainframe software partner for the next 50 years.” Before joining Compuware in 2014, Chris was CEO of VelociData. Previous to that, he was CEO of Nimsoft, EVP of CA’s Cloud Products & Solutions and EVP/GM of CA’s Mainframe business unit, where he led the successful transformation of that division.
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